39 Burst results for "Isaiah"
A highlight from Called to Catch Men
"Well is there not a world of instruction for us here? First of all, do what Jesus says. Do what he says. Nevertheless, at thy word, we will cast down our nets. Keep preaching the word. Preach to myself. Keep casting the net. When doubts come, you resolve them here. When you're tired, when you're frustrated, when you're deposed, when you catch nothing for weeks, for months, for years. It's not easy but it's simple. Do what Jesus says. Keep casting the net of the Gospel. And believe that he has power to bring the fish in. And believe him when he says that his word will not return unto him void. Because he really has power over the hearts of men to bring them into the net or the advance of his kingdom. Those who would catch men must ultimately learn their art here. From the ministry of Christ himself who was preaching the word everywhere he went, to everyone he met. May God give us grace as a church to do so. Let's stand for prayer. O Lord our God Most High, we thank you for the glory of Christ. Some here today have seen it, some have not. Maybe some who have heard the call that comes on the back of it are now shutting their eyes to it. Lord there's something compelling here. That we have to present ourselves like Isaiah and Peter and others. That we would lay our life before you and say what would you have me to do. Too often we come and we tell you what we will do, what we're willing to do. It's not the Christian response, what would thou have me to do. Make our sons and use them for the glory of thy name and the preaching of your word. And we pray that knowing Lord that that might mean huge things for our family. That they could be thrust to the furthest ends of the earth to preach the gospel. And yet we know that such a thing would be good. We pray Lord that you would give us a burden for souls. That we would see ourselves collectively as a church, as net casters. And that we would go forth seeking the lost that we might bring them to Jesus. That you would make us not to be weary in well doing knowing that in due time we should reap if we faint not. Lord, kill in our hearts our stupid notions of building our own kingdom. Crucify them, crucify them O God. And replace that with a burning and singular desire. To seek first thy kingdom, whatever that means. We lay all of our boats and our nets, whatever they are, at thy feet today. And if you would have us continue to use them, we'll use them. We'll be diligent in our calling. But we leave it all at thy feet. We pray that you would lead and guide for Jesus' sake. Amen.
Fresh update on "isaiah" discussed on Evangelism on SermonAudio
"Luke chapter 5 verse 1 through 11 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing. Nevertheless at thy word I will let down thy net, or the net. And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes, and their net break. And they beckoned unto their partners which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, He part from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. But he was astonished at all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken. And so was also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him. Amen. May God bless to us his word. In the second half of Luke chapter 4, we saw the ministry of Christ enter into its full flow. And in the latter section there, that we considered most recently, we noted how Jesus continued under the compulsion of a divine must. Moving into chapter 5, it should be no surprise, but there is no let up in the ministry of our Saviour. As to the question when this event occurs, there are different opinions. Some scholars see it as a unique event. Others link it with Matthew chapter 4 verse 19, Mark chapter 1 verse 17, where James and John and Peter and Andrew all receive the exhortation from the Lord Jesus Christ to follow him. And I think there is merit in linking these two things together as the one event. What we do know for sure is that we are on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and a multitude of men have come to hear Jesus preach. After that, a multitude of fish are caught in two boats, and upon that, a few men are commissioned to gospel work. Our theme is quite simple from this portion, called to catch men. All to catch men, or to use the words of Mark and Matthew, I will make you fishers of men. Three main things, first of all in verse 1 through 3, Jesus teaches the people. Jesus teaches the people. The text does not tell us how they all got there, but it does tell us the result. Jesus is being thronged by a multitude. They're crowding in upon him, they're pressing against him in a desire to hear the word. And the text as it refers to this simply means the word which is from the Lord. They want to hear it. So Jesus in the midst of this throng is faced with a practical problem. People can't see him, it's a struggle even for him to make his voice heard in this context. And so Jesus notes that there are two boats that have recently arrived upon the shore. And those who own them are sitting, doing what fishermen did, washing their nets after being out to fish. And as Jesus looks at these boats, he spies a pulpit. So he goes over and he gets into one of them and we're told in verse 3 that it was Simon's. And he entered into one of the ships which was Simon's. And he requests of the owner that he launch a little bit from the shore. And Simon grants the request and out they go. So that Jesus is now separated from the multitude and he sits down according to custom and he begins to teach them. It's the philosophy of a pulpit. It doesn't always have to look like this. But the preacher is before the people, he's seen by the people, he's able to see those that he speaks to. So that the Word of God can be more suitably publicly proclaimed. We'll consider here first of all that a practical problem was solved. You can almost picture it in your mind. There's now a distance that people can focus. Jesus is free from being crowded and pressed upon. On the one hand we see a very basic principle of wisdom on the part of Christ. He knew that this would be more convenient to preach. But we see something else. We see notable willingness on the part of Simon. Wisdom on the part of Christ but willingness on the part of Simon. I mean by that, Simon was willing to grant the Saviour's request to lend him the boat for a time. Now as you come to this portion and read it in isolation, you might think, well this is quite odd. There are two boats arriving from the shore, Jesus just gets into one and then says to the owner, could you lend me your boat for a time? But you need to remember that Jesus and Simon are not actually strangers at this point. The Bible is clear that Simon is among a number who followed the Lord Jesus Christ from his first revelation. Indeed, they'd been following John the Baptist previous to that. And so if you look at John chapter 1 verse 40 and 41, that is made clear. John chapter 1 verse 40 and 41, one of the two which heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon and saith unto him, we have found the Messiahs which is being interpreted the Christ. And so Andrew brings his brother to Jesus and then they both go and visit privately with Jesus in the place where he was staying. Then if chapter 5 follows logically or chronologically chapter 4, which is in dispute as to when these things happen. But if it does, then we've seen that Jesus has already been in Simon Peter's house and healed his mother-in-law. So he calls to Simon, Simon, lend me your boat. So you must not think when you read Luke chapter 5 that this is the conversion of Simon and Andrew and James and John. These men have been followers of the Baptist waiting for the Messiah to come and when John the Baptist says there he is, behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. Their faith, which they already have, simply embraces the Messiah now revealed. They were faithful Jews waiting for the hope of redemption prior to that. So it's not his conversion, but he is a fisherman and Jesus needed a boat and Simon had a boat. And Simon devoted his boat for the time to the Lord Jesus for the work of the kingdom. To make it very simple for you this afternoon, he did what he could at the time with what he had for his Lord. Is that not an encouragement to you? Sometimes you think, well I'm a Christian, such a poor miserable Christian, what can I possibly do for the Lord? Simon's just an ordinary believer here. He will come into an office in a moment, but right now he's just an ordinary believer. A believer with a boat that he gave for a time to Jesus so Jesus could preach. You find this kind of thing throughout scripture and indeed throughout church history. Remember William Carey and he had a burden to go to India to be a missionary to the heathen. And he entered into a kind of agreement with those people back in the missionary society in England. And he said, we all cannot go. I'm not expecting you to go. I'm willing to go. But it's like, I'm going down the well and you're going to hold the ropes. For me. We see that God acknowledges this kind of kindness to him. In fact, Simon didn't know what the fruit of this would be, but he lends Jesus' boat for a moment or two. And not long after that, he's going to bring in the greatest catch of fishes he ever saw on the Sea of Galilee. Doing what we can with what we have is not unnoticed by God. Indeed, when the rewards are given out in Matthew chapter 25 to the shock of the sheep who are on the right hand of Christ, he says, when I was naked, you clothed me. When I was in prison, you visited me. And they say, Lord, when did we do these things? When you did what you could in your own circumstances and you didn't realize the significance of it, but you did it for me. And even a cup of cold water that is given in my name will not pass my notice. Let me frame the question for you in this way today. What is your boat? There's no one here to my knowledge has a trade of being a fisherman. But what is our boat? What do we have that we perhaps think is irrelevant, little, that we can use for the Lord? Could it be our homes that we could open for the fellowship of the saints? Could it be our time that we could give for practical things within the church? We had a practical problem here to do with this and all these things around here. No point asking the pastor to do anything about that. He's clueless. But those with gifts in the church are able to solve a practical problem. Who are they doing that for? They're doing it for the Lord. They're doing it for the Lord. Perhaps it's money. God has blessed you with money and put you in a position that you're able to give in a way that others are not. It's a bit like Kerry. I'm willing to go to India. I'm not asking you to go. But we need someone to hold the votes. There are various ways that we can solve practical problems to assist the preaching of the Word in advance of God's Kingdom. Don't underestimate them. A practical problem is solved so that a preaching ministry in the second place is continued. We've seen it many times already. Jesus is primarily a preacher. And if we look at the end of chapter 4, don't we have that stated there in verse 43 and 44? And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also, for therefore am I sent. And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee. Now up until this point, that is where we've seen Jesus preach. He's in the synagogue in Nazareth, he's in the synagogue in Capernaum, and then he goes round the various synagogues of Galilee. And he's preaching week after week in the synagogues on the Sabbath day. But that's not what's happening here. Because the tell-tale sign that this is another day is that there are men out fishing on their boats. And in fact, Jesus goes out at length with them fishing on their boats. So what's the difference? He's not in a synagogue, he's by the sea. It's not the Sabbath, it's a weekday. And people are going about their occupation, but it does not stop Jesus preaching the Word. What you'll see as you study his life, is Jesus will preach all the time, in all kinds of different places. He's maximizing his opportunity. He preaches by the sea, he preaches on a mountain, he preaches in people's homes, he even preaches in the desert. And as he's doing this, he's actually doing what he then sends his disciples to do. From henceforth you will catch men. So before we get to the fishermen and their call, here is THE fishermen, going everywhere he can. They preach the Word, in order that he might catch men. The men that he will call, will continue that ministry. And we find them doing the same thing, preaching the Word at all times, in various places. So in the book of Acts, they're preaching in the temple, they're preaching in the synagogue, they're preaching by a river, they're preaching in people's homes, they're preaching in the open air, in Jewish cities and in Gentile cities. Everywhere, to everyone. Well let's apply that to ourselves, this afternoon. That means we will endeavor to preach here, week after week, in our synagogue, in our church. But we will not confine it to this. We will take the Word of God, and seek opportunities to spread it, as far and as wide as we can. We will preach it in the street. We will go round, God willing, very soon, and we will knock doors in our neighborhoods, and we will seek to witness to these people, personally. We will declare the Word formally through the mouth of ministers, and informally through the mouths of the members of the church. Well don't you see how these two things come together? We can have a formal ministry that needs to be supported. We can have an informal ministry that you can take part of. We have practical problems to solve, so as to make these things as efficient and as widespread as we can. So with regard to that door to door work here is a heads up. We need people to go out with the little cards that we have. And to go and graciously engage people upon the doorsteps that we might seek to do them good, spiritually. And you say, well that's so intimidating to me, I've never done anything like that in my life. Well, maybe you can get over that hurdle. Maybe some of you say, I'm not best fitted for it. My health wouldn't even allow me to walk round all of these doors. I had an elder like that when I was in Ayr. He had chronic heart problems. He walked to the car, he was done. What can I do? I want to go round the doors with you, but I can't. So he sat in the house, and he got all the tracts, and he put labels on the tracts, and handed them out to us, so we in turn could go and take them to other people. He was solving a practical problem. The children got involved in that, as well as my children will be able to tell you, label after label after label, on tracts and on magazines. So that the word which is from the Lord could go forth as far and as wide as we could spread it. Jesus is teaching the people. Secondly, Jesus tests the fishermen. Verse 4 through 9. The sermon to the multitudes was over, and Jesus will now continue his ministry to a smaller group of men. It's interesting that we're not told that the multitude dispersed. Maybe many of them did. But it's also very possible that a good percentage of them remained and got to witness the power of Christ and the miracle that he was about to perform. As we work through verse 4 and following, note first of all Christ's challenge. Verse 4. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draft. So initially he said, Simon, can I borrow your boat to preach? He's still in the boat and he says, Simon, let's go fishing. Let's launch out again into the deep and drop the nets. And Simon, upon hearing this challenge, struggles. It's the war of faith and unbelief in Simon's heart. And the reasons behind it are, number one, he's exhausted. He's already been fishing all night. And so he begins to reason with the Lord in verse 5. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have told all the night and we have taken nothing. Exhausted from a night of fruitless toil. But then he's troubled by something else. He's an experienced fisherman and he knows that the best time to catch fish in the Sea of Galilee is at night. And the best place to catch them is closer to the shore. So he's exhausted. But then he's not confident in Jesus' proposal. Furthermore, he's a fisherman and Jesus is a carpenter. And what do carpenters know about fishing? The worst time to go fishing is into the deep in the middle of the day. And Jesus says, let's go. Well, here's this tension in Simon's heart, faith and unbelief. But praise the Lord, faith wins. And Simon resolves it in this way. Nevertheless, at thy word, I will let down the net. Nevertheless, at thy word, I will let down the net. Even though, to my mind, it seems foolish, Jesus commanded it. What a practical lesson for us today. What an essentially good rule for Christian life and obedience. OBEY CHRIST! OBEY CHRIST! Even when it seems to go against your own understanding, the Bible says, Lean not upon your own understanding, but in all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct thy paths. Now let me qualify that. That is not a warrant for you to be stupid, right? That's not an open door for you to go home today and say, well, you know, I think I should just give up my job and move here or do some crazy harebrained scheme. No, we're not to be stupid, but at the same time we're not to lean upon our own understanding so as to contradict the command of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now Peter does have somewhat of an advantage here. When you go back to John chapter 2, remember Peter and Simon and James and John, or Peter and Andrew and James and John are with Jesus at the end of chapter 1. And then in John chapter 2, Jesus and his disciples go to a miracle or go to a marriage at Cana in Galilee where Jesus performs his first miracle. Peter's there. And he remembers the problem arising and Jesus' mother taking over and saying, well, my son can help. And maybe he remembered the words of Mary, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do. Whatsoever he saith unto you, do. Because essentially that is what Peter is doing when he responds to Christ. Jesus has said it, I will do it. That's how you're to live your Christian life. If Christ says go, you go. If Christ says stop that, you stop it. If Christ says do that, you do it. If Christ says do that this way, then you do it this way. It's very simple. Not easy though. That's really the key for obedience. Obedience is simple. Christ has made things so clear to us in the Bible. The difficulty is bringing our will in line to it so as to do what he says. Well, are we challenged by this today? So with the challenge, and then we have the catch. They go out into the deep. They cast down their nets with the result that a great multitude of fish swim into the nets. Verse 6 and 7. And when they had this done, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes in their net break. And they beckoned unto their partners which were in the other ship that they should come and help them. And they came and filled both the ships so that they began to sink. So Peter's not really expecting much. They throw the net over and all of a sudden weight begins to fill the net. And they start to hear even the ropes on the net begin to strain. And maybe some of them begin to snap. And they try to lift the net and they realise they can't do it. And so Simon has to call from his boat to the other boat which likely was James and John's boat. Come and help us. And so they come. Now they have two ships with more hands and they labour to get the fish up and they empty them into the boat. And there are so many fish that they can barely get them back to shore because the weight of the fish in both boats is bringing them down to the very water level. They're in danger of sinking. Simon, Andrew, James, John. You fished for many years, haven't you? Yeah. We fished since we were children. My dad, Zebedee, family business. It's all we've ever known. Well men, have you ever seen a catch like this in the Sea of Galilee? Never in our lives. Have you ever heard of such a catch? No, nothing like this has ever been reported. You certainly haven't heard of a catch like this in the middle of the day in the deep water. No. How do you explain it? Well there's only one explanation. This is supernatural. This is miraculous. The disciples in witnessing this miracle saw Christ's knowledge. Jesus knew where all of these fish were. He knew. You find that in other places. He needs a coin. Well go down there, you'll get a fish. The coin will be in his mouth. Jesus knew where all these fish were. Well you extend that through the gospel and you see the knowledge of Christ. He knows all things. He knows the devils. He knows the hearts of men. He knows who it is who will betray Him. And He's showing the glory of His omniscience in this miracle. But not just His knowledge, also His power. In Psalm 8 that we sung, we're told that God has given man dominion over the creatures. Fowls of the air, fish of the sea, all that pass through the sea. And there's Peter going out, trying to exercise Godly dominion on the Sea of Galilee. But the previous night, he'd fished all night trying to locate these fish children, an experienced fisherman. Where are they? Maybe if we cast the net here we'll get them. No, the weather's not right for this. The light's not right. Ah, they'll be a little further out. Can you imagine it? And they're trying to use their God-given skill and wisdom and expertise to find these fish. And it all fails. And now the one of whom Psalm 8 speaks of in a different way steps forth. And we see that men try to catch fish but Jesus controls the fish. Jesus controls the fish. He's the same God who manifested His power over nature when Israel were in captivity in Egypt. And so He brings frogs and lice and flies and locusts upon the land of Egypt in judgment. The same one stands in their midst incarnate who was able to call these fish from wherever they were to swim into this net at this precise time. It's a miracle. How do we respond to the miracle? Can we not learn from Peter? In verse 8 when Simon Peter saw it he fell down at Jesus' knees saying, Depart from me. For I am a sinful man, O Lord. Verse 9 tells us everyone was astonished at the draught. Verse 8 focuses particularly on Peter. And it shows us that Peter from what he witnessed was gripped with a sense of who Christ was and who He was before Christ. That's what this miracle revealed in the Word should produce in our hearts today. In the first place he recognized that Christ was God. There's a hint of this even though it's not explicitly stated in the text. You see it when you compare verse 5 with verse 8. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night and we have taken nothing. It's a word of respect. It's not exactly the word for Rabbi here but it is a word that Luke sometimes uses in that way. They haven't gone out. Jesus says, Let's go. Let's drop the nets. Master, we have toiled all night and we have taken nothing. Well they go and drop the nets and now Peter responds and he says, Depart from me for I am a sinful man, O Lord. That's the word that the Old Testament uses in Greek to describe God. It's the word that the New Testament uses very often in Greek to describe God. So Peter is actually saying a bit like Thomas, My Lord and My God. He recognized Him as God. He then falls at His feet, the way many people do throughout the Old Testament. The way Jacob responds when he wakes up to his dream in Bethel and he's terrified and he says, Surely the Lord is in this place and I knew it not. This is the gate of heaven. This is the house of God. What an amazing thing if we woke up like that in our souls in response to this sermon. He's God. He falls at His feet and He speaks in fear. Or let me say, He speaks in terror, in terror. Depart from me for I am a sinful man. How do we know that it's terror? Because Jesus goes on to say, Fear not. Okay, Godly fear, Christ is never going to tell you to stop that, right? He's going to say, Keep fearing. But this is anxiety. This is overwhelmed with a sense of something so glorious that it's foreboding. He's struck by the fact that He is in the presence of God. And there hasn't been a particular manifestation of holiness. It's been, Christ knows, Christ has power, but yet when it is properly received by Peter, His response is to fall down and say, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man. It's not unique to Calvin, but Calvin is famous for telling us that you only truly know yourself as you know yourself before God. You only truly know yourself as you know yourself before God. And when that happens, all of your self-confidence goes. All of your false views of your abilities and your righteousnesses, it disappears, indeed it is inverted. So that you are found in the presence of God saying, My righteousnesses are as rags. You are so glorious that I am taken up with a sense of my unworthiness and my sinfulness. In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord high and lifted up and His train filled the temple. And as I heard and saw holy angels, six winged creatures, flying with two wings and covering their faces and their feet with the other two, with the other wings, and as they flew they cried, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord. Repeatedly. Holy beings obsessed with the greater holiness of God. And here's a sinful man. And what does he say? Woe, woe is unto me. I am cursed. Woe unto me, for I am undone. I am disintegrating in the presence of this glory. I feel like my body and my soul can no longer hold together because my eyes have seen in some degree the glory of the King, Jehovah of Hosts. What a transforming and humbling experience that was. And here's Peter before that same Lord of Hosts, loathed in our humanity. One upon whom men look and they see no beauty or glory in Him that they should desire Him or worship Him. But Peter has just seen something that makes him respond like Isaiah and he says, Depart from me. Lord get away from me. If you come too close to me, I'm dead. That's what happens when a sinner sees himself in his sinfulness. A Holy God strikes his heart with terror. The instinctive response of the soul is, Get away from me. Don't come too close. You're a consuming fire and you're going to destroy me. A bit like Israel at Mount Sinai, when they beheld it and they said, Moses, please, whatever, whatever you do, don't let God speak to us again. We've got off once, we'll not get off twice. We're dead men if we hear that voice again. Will you mediate for us, Moses? St. Daniel, Daniel falls at the feet of this glorious revelation that he sees and he says, I had no strength, everything drained out of me. People sit under the word of God and they're never affected like this. They never see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. They come in, they go out unchanged and Christ makes no impression upon their souls. Have you ever felt within your heart when you've been confronted with the glory of God that the first instinctive reaction of your soul is, Get away, depart from me. I have no hope to stand in your presence. You need to feel that. And yet the remarkable thing is that when we are taken up like that, it's not like the request of the demons who hate Christ and say, Depart from us. And Christ does depart from them. Christ understands what he's doing within the soul of a sinner in this way. And when they say, like Peter, Depart, what does Jesus say? He says, No, you come to me. That's profound. That we can be within our hearts saying, Get God away from me. And God says, Come now, let us reason together. I know you feel like that. But though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red as crimson. They shall be as white. This holy God, this God of infinite knowledge and infinite power and infinite holiness is a God of infinite mercy. He says to the terrorized soul, Come to me and live. Fear not. Oh, the glory of God's grace in that statement. Fear not. When Christ says, Fear not to a trembling soul. Because in me is your hope and your salvation. It's not just a sinner the first time. This kind of thing can break into the heart of a believer. Where the sense of sin deepens within our soul. We were talking about perfect love casting out fear last time. And there is a sense in which the Christian should not be given over to terror. But the reality is that even Christians, when they encounter the grease of the glory of God, find themselves in the place of Peter. Where we fall down at his feet and all we can say is, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man. I said to you this is not Peter's conversion. He is already a follower of Jesus. Isaiah 6 was not Isaiah's conversion. Daniel 10 was not Daniel's conversion. And yet all of them respond as believers in a similar way. As you encounter more and more of the glory of God and of Christ as a Christian, you will experience more and more of the sense of your own sinfulness and unworthiness. Lord, how can you even look upon me? Lord, who am I and what am I that you should ever have bestowed such kindness upon me? What a tragedy that there are so many professing Christians walking about. These things never even enter into their souls. They are more overwhelmed with the world and their friends and their careers and their plants. Oh, but when this happens, this transforms everything. This is the very thing that we will see in a moment that is fitting this man for devotion and service to Christ. You have it in word today. What's your response to this miracle? Meditate upon it. Are you astonished at the glory of Christ? Are you prostrate in your heart before the Son of God? Do you feel anew the sense of your unworthiness and your sinfulness? Are you awestruck? Is there a sense in which you want to say before this glorious Redeemer, depart from me, for I am a sinful man? And is there a sense in which you hear Him answering that experience by saying, nevertheless, come to me? He casts a fisherman. He casts our hearts today. That brings us thirdly to Jesus calls the disciples. Peter speaks to Jesus and Jesus responds to him first to stop Simon's fear. And then second, to change his calling. Verse 10. And so was also James and John the sons of Zebedee, so they were astonished as well. Simon's focused on their awe, awestruck, the presence of Christ. But astonished at the draft of the fishes which they had taken. And so was James and John the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, fear not, from henceforth thou shalt catch men. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all and followed Him. We have here first the call, from henceforth thou shalt catch men. Mark chapter 1 verse 17, I will make you fishers of men. A man cannot make himself this. It is the calling of the Lord Jesus Christ. With regard to official office, no one ought to intrude upon it. To set it in its context, what's just happened? Fishermen have gone out with Jesus and they have brought in the record catch that has ever been hauled on the Sea of Galilee. What would many people want to do at that point? They would want to make the carpenter a fisherman, wouldn't they? The prosperity gospel would say, Jesus can we make you a partner in our firm? But that's not what happens. Jesus takes the fisher men and He calls them to be fishers of men. Like Him, reachers of the word. And so right at what would have been the chief point of their prosperity, Jesus changes their occupation. Instead of fish for consumption, you men are going to catch men for everlasting life. Isn't it encouraging that in this call Jesus actually promises them success? He doesn't just say, you will fish for men, He says you will catch them. From henceforth, thou shalt catch men. And the statement is not just an event that's done once, it's in the continuous present tense. From henceforth you will continue, you will keep going, you will continually catch men. Well behind that means that they must continually fish for men. That makes their experience of fisher men very helpful and proprietary to this work. Because if they are to continually fish for men, in the hope of catching men, they will have to be diligent in doing so. What was Peter's problem? When Jesus said launch out into the deep and let down your nets for the draft, He says I'm exhausted. We've toiled all night and we've caught nothing. The conclusion being, there are no fish, it's pointless, why would we go out and do this again? And do you imagine how many times, as a fisherman, Peter, James and John and their parents would have had to wrestle through that discouragement and launch the boat again and again and again and again. Sometimes nothing for ours work, sometimes a big catch for a short time's work. But they had to keep going. There's a practical lesson there for those who are intending the Christian ministry. It is vital that you are diligent in your present calling. If you cannot be diligent in your present calling, it's a complete hype dream to imagine that you would be diligent if you were to find yourself in the Christian ministry. You young men, one of the best things that you can do as you wrestle with a call to the ministry is not just study the word, grow in communion with God, exercise yourself diligently. Don't be a whiner, a complainer, someone who gives up, someone who blames everything on everyone else, give yourself diligently to that calling. Vital preparation. Christ does not call idle men. Then we have the response to the call. In verse 11, not just Peter but all of these men, Peter, Andrew, James and John. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all and they followed Him. That's very easy to read, isn't it? It's altogether different, more difficult to do. They forsook all and followed Him. Their boats, their livelihood, their family business, imagine explaining that to your father, sorry, I gotta go. But you're leaving me in the lurch, what am I going to do? I've got to go. Their business, their haul, as I said, the most prosperous time and the greatest catch that they've ever had. And they walk away from it. It wouldn't have rotted, the family would have taken care of it, no doubt. But with respect to themselves, they turn their back and they leave it all behind. I want you to see how the miracle prepared them for this. The miracle prepared them for us. What was Peter's response to the miracle? He's humbled, isn't he? He's humbled, depart from me for I am a sinful man. You say, well how could a man ever get from that position, asking Jesus to go away from a few minutes later, following Jesus and leaving everything behind? How do you get from A to B? Well it's actually the humiliation of seeing yourself before God in this way and coming to understand the unspeakable glory of the one who speaks, so that when he speaks, you are compelled. Mark this well, this is preparation for ministry too, not just be diligent in your calling, but come to know yourself truly as you see yourself before God. That's how Isaiah was called. Woe is me for I am undone, I am a man of unclean lips, I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. My eyes have seen the king, the Lord of hosts. He's falling apart at the seams. And then God speaks and says, whom shall I send and who will go for us? And this same guy says, me. How do you get from here to there? Don't you see it's the vision itself that both humbles and compels. The miracle prepared them. Maybe the problem that you have with giving anything up for God is because you haven't seen the glory of God. When you see the glory of God like this, oh how our hearts open, our hands open, our lives open. Everything else seems to be worthless before him. The more you hold tightly to everything and think highly of yourself and you don't want to give up your career and your money, the problem is you haven't seen God. You haven't seen God the way you need to see God. Those things are becoming disproportionate in your estimation. They're becoming your gods in a sense. The miracle prepared them. The miracle also confirmed them. Let's go back out onto the sea. Jesus knew where the fish were. Jesus had the power to draw the fish into the net. And now he says to his disciples, from henceforth you will catch men. What would a thinking Christian conclude? Well if he has power to know where the fish are in the bottom of the sea, or the knowledge to know where they are, and if he has power to make them all swim into this net, then if he tells me that I'm going to catch men, he also knows where his people are and he has the power to make them. To make his people swim into the gospel net. How encouraging. Off they went, leaving everything behind to cast their new gospel net forth to preach the word. Think of Peter. Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draft and Peter's thinking this carpenter doesn't understand fishing. This is foolish. Imagine how many times Peter would have to lean back upon that as he went forth preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, which unto the Jew was a stumbling block and unto the Greek was foolishness. Imagine the support of this event. You thought it was foolish when Jesus said drop down the net in the deep in the middle of the day and he proved you wrong. So you just keep going Peter, keep casting this gospel net. What is foolishness to men is the power and the wisdom of God. It's beautiful isn't it? So these disciples go forth for three years with Jesus and then Jesus dies and then their faith sinks and what do they do? John chapter 21, they go fishing again and Jesus meets them on the shore and he repeats the miracle. And he says no, it's not the boat for you. You're not catching fish anymore, you're catching men. And he shows them again his power over the fish of the sea and then he says Peter, who denied me, do you love me? And he restores Peter. And this man stands up on the day of Pentecost and he casts the gospel net and three thousand souls swim into the net that he casts. Like this day upon the sea when a catch swam into that net the like of which they had never seen and Jesus says from henceforth you will catch men and oh how he caught men. How he caught men on that day. Who's willing to go? Do you want the gospel net to be cast in all the world so that sinners can be brought to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ? You say yes, I want that to happen. Who's going to do it? Do you want to receive this word today only in this sense? From henceforth they shall catch men, somebody else but not me. I want to be the fisherman. I want the net, I want the business, I want the money. Be careful now how you answer the question. Are you saying an answer to this? No, I will never go. That's quite a response to the Lord isn't it? Maybe you need to get down before his feet as Peter did on that boat on the Sea of Galilee. Maybe that's where you need to resolve this question. I am not telling you that he's calling you all to go forth into the Christian ministry. But it is telling when the question is put to you that the neck of your soul stiffens and says no, no, not me Lord, send anybody else apart from me. I'm not doing it. Are you willing? Are you willing to leave all? Your dreams, your ambitions, your idea about a career, how much money you want to earn, what truck or what car you want to drive, you want a boat, you want a house at the beach, all these things, are you willing? Would you be willing to walk away from it all today like these men did on the Sea of Galilee? Are you willing to give your life to catch men? Or would you rather just catch fish and the equivalent? Are you willing? Are you willing? What about those who do go? There are some of you here.
A highlight from A Dame Trade Deep Dive With Ben Thompson, Plus Seth Meyers and Million-Dollar Picks
"Coming up, Dame gets traded. Million dollar pick Seth Meyers, it's all next. It's the Bill Simmons Podcast presented by FanDuel. Get in on the football action right from the opening kickoff with America's number one sports book. The app is safe, secure, easy to use. FanDuel always has exclusive offers. When you win, you'll get paid instantly. FanDuel has lots of ways to play, like the spread, money line, over -unders, team totals, player props, so much more. Jump into the action at any time during the game with live betting. Combine multiple bets from the same game in a same game parlay. Download the FanDuel sports book app today. Make every moment more of this football season. The Ringer is committed to responsible gaming. Please visit TheRinger .com slash RG to learn more about the resources and help lines available and listen to the end of this episode for additional details. You must be 21 plus and present in select states. Gambling problem, call 1 -800 -GAMBLER or visit TheRinger .com slash RG. This episode is brought to you by Uber Eats. I just use this. Here's something every football fan should know. You can get everything you need for game day delivered with Uber Eats. Well, almost, almost anything because you can't get the dream flex for your fantasy team delivered with Uber Eats. But Tex -Mex, yeah, great pass protection, can't get it. Great pizza selection, oh yeah. While they can't help on the field, you can get pretty much everything else you need to watch the game delivered with Uber Eats. So this season, get anything, almost, almost anything for game day by ordering on the Uber Eats app. Uber Eats, official on -demand delivery partner of the NFL. Order now. I'll call in select markets and 21 plus to order. Product availability may vary by region. See app for details. We're also brought to you by The Ringer Podcast Network where I put up a new rewatchables on Monday night. We did the big chill. It was very, very exciting. I have Kyle Brandt coming on Monday's podcast. I'm just gonna tell you the movie now because it is gonna be the best moment of your weekend if you spent two hours watching this classic. We're doing Toy Soldiers. It really brings everything possible to the table. So if you wanna watch it ahead of time, there it is. That podcast is going up Monday night. If you wanna hear stuff about the debate, we have Tara Paul and Mary's podcast, Somebody's Gotta Win. That reacted to it as well as the press box with Brian Curtis and David Shoemaker. So there you go. Our debate coverage has been on point. Also, higher learning. Van and Rachel had Larry Elder on this weekend. It made a lot of noise, man. That podcast is great. I hope you check that out as well. Hope you're checking out theringer .com. And on this podcast, gonna talk about the dame trade at the top. We're gonna bring in Ben Thompson from the Techery newsletter, which he's been on this podcast I think four weeks ago. And he's a huge Bucks fan. He's gonna give the Bucks fan side of things. We're gonna do million dollar picks. And then old friend Seth Meyers talking about a whole bunch of stuff. So really good podcast. It's all next. First, our friends from Pro Jam. What's up? All right, I'm taping this on Thursday afternoon. Normally when there's a big MBA trade, I always do the emergency trade reaction right after the podcast. But we just put up a podcast on Tuesday. So I decided to play it a little differently this time. I wanted a little distance, I wanted to listen to stuff, read stuff, and try to form some big picture opinions coming out of this. So I have four smaller ones, then one big one. First one, I thought Portland did an incredible job with this trade. I really liked this trade, especially everyone was trying to bully them in June and July about, oh, you got to take Miami's offer. You just got to. It's where he wants to go. It's the only offer you're going to get. And guess what? They waited. They played it perfectly. They stared Miami down, and they got a much better deal. First of all, they get the Drew Holiday piece that they can flip into a bunch out of their stuff, which we'll talk about in one second. I love the DeAndre Ayton gamble. As you know, on this podcast, I am a big DeAndre Ayton guy. Not in the sense of I'm the biggest fan of his in the world, but I'm a fan of the asset. I just think I love the valued assets, no matter what it is. Whatever market we're talking about, DeAndre Ayton, 18 and 10 for his career, 60 % field goals percentage, 25 years old. He's played in 45 playoff games. He played four rounds in the 2021 finals. Last year, he got his ass kicked by Jokic. Oh, sorry. Like, that never happens. And Phoenix just sold on him, which I can't wait to talk about. But just from a Portland standpoint, they not only get Ayton in whatever they get for holiday, they get the 29 first, they get the two swaps, and they dump Nurkic. Nurkic hasn't had a healthy start to finish all the way through the playoffs here since 2018, which I'm positive was a long time ago. He's basically 12 and 8. He's, you know, a 50 % shooter. I made a list of the top 30 centers. I encourage you to do this at home, because what's more fun than making lists of NBA centers? I can't imagine anything. I made a list of who I thought were the best assets of the center position for talent, contract, everything. He was 29th on my list. The only person I had ahead of him who's technically a starter, unless you start talking about the Detroit or Charlotte guys, was Zubats on the Clippers. I thought he was the 29th best center asset in the league. And Phoenix, you know, just quickly to go to them, they're trying to win this year. They got worse. They turned Ayton's money into Nurkic and Grayson Allen and Nasir Little. Grayson Allen, we already know with him, he can't play in playoff series. We saw him 22. We saw it last year. I heard and read in some places like that, I got two rotation players. Did they? Is Nurkic a playoff rotation player? Is Grayson Allen a playoff rotation player? Because I'm positive he's not. So for the same money that they were spending on Ayton, they got three guys that I don't think are going to help them. In 25, the money comes down a little bit to 23 million just for Nurkic and Little, which is 7 million less than Ayton. And then in 26, that money goes up to 25 .5. But I don't understand what Phoenix was doing. Why not wait to see if Ayton clicks with Vogel? Vogel has such a good history with centers. He rejuvenated Dwight Howard on the 2020 Lakers. He basically created Roy Hibbert's career in 2013 with the defense verticality thing. I thought he was going to do a good job with Ayton. I'm stunned that they gave up on him. I'm almost waiting for one of those, now they tell us stories when, you know, that's where Brian Curtis calls them, where like a week after something happens, there's this kind of notebook dump where it's like, here's seven terrible DeAndre Ayton stories. So maybe that'll happen. But for Phoenix just to be like, cool, we locked this down, man. We got Nurkic. You're trying to win the title. You have KD and Booker and Beal. And like, what are you guys doing? Anyway, from Portland's standpoint, I love the Ayton thing. I love that they didn't get bullied. And I know they're going to turn Drew Holliday into something. So this to me was at least an A minus for them, for where they were two months ago, where Dave's like, I want to go to Miami. That's it. And if you don't trade me there, that's kind of fucked up. And they made this work as it got reported that, uh, I think in the athletic, that he expanded his list to Brooklyn and to Milwaukee in the last two weeks. And that's what Portland was waiting on. You know, they were banking on the fact that he's a competitive dude. He's one of the best 75 pairs ever. He wanted a situation settled. So, you know, you wait, you wait, you wait, they expand the list and then you go. Uh, there's a Drew Holliday piece to this. That's awesome. He becomes a contender prize. I wouldn't call this a Drew Holliday sweepstakes. I reserved sweepstakes for the superstars, but it's a mini sweepstakes. This is somebody that could have a huge impact on the playoff race. You know, not only the usual suspects, everybody's talking about Boston, ironically, Miami is a really good fit for him. And in some ways, um, I'm a little more scared of them with Miami than Dame in some ways, especially at a much cheaper contract with giving up less and keeping some of their assets. Philly, if they could pull it off, they have to be in there in Golden State, Minnesota. I think I have to mention Sacramento, I think is a team that if they could figure out how to get Drew without giving up their core, which is basically Keegan Murray and Sabonis and Fox, like that's, you know, could Davion Mitchell be in that trade with some, with a salary and some picks, who knows. The team that I love for Drew Holliday is OKC. I have OKC, you know, I started doing my MBA research for the over -under spot and I haven't landed on a number for them yet, but to me, they feel like a high forties team with Chet and with the growth of their young guys. And if you just like, let's say they traded Lou Dort and a bunch of their picks, maybe two firsts and two of their lesser picks or three firsts and a second, whatever it is. And they just say, fuck it. And they get Drew and you put him with Giddy and SGA and Jalen fucking awesome Williams and Chet Holmgren and all these other dudes they have, that might be a top three team in the West. I mean, that, that's starting to give me some early 2010s OKC vibes. So where he goes is going to be important. I just feel like there was so much Drew Holliday slander the last couple of days. You know, he's one of my favorite players. Even Haralabob, who was the chairman of the board of the Drew Holliday fan club for years and would have the benefit dinners there and, you know, just did a lot of yeoman's work on that front. And even he was like, yeah, yeah, Dame's better than Drew. That trade makes sense for Milwaukee. I was hurt, Haralabob. I was 100 % hurt by that. But you know, Drew got his ass kicked by Jimmy Butler in the playoffs last year. I get it. It happens. Jimmy was unbelievable. I feel like he would have kicked anybody's ass. By the way, why is Drew Holliday guarding Jimmy Butler? That speaks more to some of the issues with Milwaukee. He was never supposed to be a point guard and a creator. I think he was always better as an off -the -ball guy. We saw that with Rondo and New Orleans and just in general. I want to see him with a point guard. I want to see him just being unleashed, not having the ball a lot, just worrying about hitting threes, being an occasional, you know, make -shit -happen guy and being like the third or fourth best guy on a team without having the offensive responsibility to have. All their half court issues got blamed on him for the last couple of years. And I get it. They weren't like an awesome half -court team, even the other one in the finals, but I really value that dude. I had him, even I did the trade value list in August and I had him 37th and I had Dame 23rd. I think he's one of the best 30 players in the league still. He's 33 years old, which, you know, I'm going to talk in a second about when guards hit their mid -30s, but just in general, I think he's a real asset. If he goes to a team like the Celtics and they can keep Derek White and Tatum and Brown in the center, it's like, look out, man. So little mini sweepstakes, rarely do we get the trade, but then we still get another asset to talk about. Thank you for everyone involved in the trade. And then the fourth small point is just that, you know, not rocket science, Milwaukee bought some Giannis time here. They have one of the best 20 players of all time. They were staring down the barrel of a situation that was not good. I was talking about it on this podcast in late June and early July. I thought he was going to put them on the clock. I thought Mark Lasry selling his stake was a really bad sign for all of this because that dude is smart. As I laid out in June, that guy is really smart. And if he's feeling like, you know what, it's time for me to sell my buck stock, that makes me nervous. And then all the stuff that Giannis said and did, which I thought he did really fairly and really smartly. And I think that dude's about titles and that's it. And I know we say that about players, but I think in his case, I don't think he cares about, you know, what's my legacy, how do I compare against Dirk DeWhisky, any of that stuff. I just think he wants more rings. I mean, think about the guys who have won two rings out of the best 35 guys on my list of my pyramid. Those are all guys in my top 35 that won multiple wings. You go to the one -ring side, Jerry West, Oscar, Moses, Dirk, Jokic, Giannis, Pettit, Garnett, Kawhi, Rick Barry. That's the list he's on now. I certainly don't think he's looking at that list going, I got to get away from these guys, but it's a slightly different list. I think when you win multiple rings in multiple situations, it elevates you in a certain way. I think he fundamentally understands that at least a little bit. I want to be the best player since LeBron James. I think that's a thing that he wants. How am I going to do that? I need more rings. I need more finals trips. He knew from last year and maybe even the Boston series that they just weren't good enough. Whether this trade is going to be the thing that propels them, we'll find out, but he's been in the league 10 years, two MVPs, five first teams, two second teams, and now we have this little two -year window. Kawhi and the Raptors was a one -year window. This is a two -year window, I feel like. With Giannis, he's got two years left in his deals. So does Lopez. Middleton has two in a player option. Dame's got two, and then this crazy $120 million player option extension thingy that he has that just keeps going and going. It's probably two years. There's a world where this could go terribly this season, at least for what the expectations are, and then maybe it becomes Kawhi, Raptors. Maybe Giannis is like, you know what? That didn't work. Trade me. And the Bucks, who have no picks left and no future, they look at it next summer, and they go, all right. We tried it. Giannis, what can we get for you? Dame, what can we get? And they just do a reboot, rehaul. Remember, they won in 2021, which just takes so much pressure out of this. It's so much different than the Clippers situation, where they went all in on Kawhi and Paul George. They give up all those picks and SGA, and they've gotten nothing out of it. They haven't even made the finals. So it's got to happen. I think they at least probably have to make the finals. If they get bounced in round two, do I think Giannis is going to stay because they made this Dame -Mower trade? Probably not. So that leads to the big question, is how good of a trade was this? So there's a big picture angle on Dame, and it's going to sound negative, but I really don't want it to sound negative because I think Dame, I voted for him for NBA Top 75. I think he's been one of the best guards in the last 15 years. I think there's a ton of great things you can say, and there's a chance that he goes to Milwaukee, and this thing is fucking awesome. I know any Celtic fan I've talked to, including Isaiah, who's helping produce this podcast today, the Giannis -Dame pick and roll is just terrifying. Other than Jokic and Murray, it's going to be the single most unstoppable offensive play in the league. It is. We are conceding that point. The spot Dame is in right now, big picture -wise, it's weird. He's a superstar, but he's not, and we've seen guys like this before. I judge superstars by, do you have the resume statistically, and is your team succeeding consistently at a certain level? You can't totally say that about Dame. He's never been on a 55 -win team. He's missed the playoffs completely four times in 11 years. He said three first -round exits. He made the Final Four once in 2019, which was really lucky because Golden State and Houston were the two best teams, and then they got smoked. He's never been on a true contender ever. Instinctively, you go, well, that's not his fault. Who's he played with? Well, he played with LaMarcus Aldridge and CJ McCollum and a couple other guys, but not really anybody. The reason I'm putting this up is there's a success element that he has not had yet that for somebody with his resume is actually kind of unusual. I went and I looked up how many guards in the history of the league averaged 22 points a game for their career and played at least 700 games. I thought the list would be like 20. I didn't know. I didn't know what I was walking into. Only I think 75 guys have averaged 22 a game. So I went and I looked up the list, and it was 10 guys, 700 games, 22 a game for their career. There were some guys who came close like David Thompson, who I think is one of the best guards I've seen in the last 45 years, but had a short career and had some drug issues. He didn't make it. He didn't play enough games. Pete Maravich, 24 .2 points a game, but he didn't play enough games. Kyrie hasn't played enough games yet. Bradley Beale is five games away. I'm actually kind of glad the cutoff's at 700 so we don't have to talk about him. And then Mitchell and Trey Young aren't there yet. There's only 10 guys that made it, and the 10 guys are all fucking awesome. And again, I mentioned this in the context of Dame, who we think he is versus the success he's had. So the 10 guys, Michael Jordan, 30 .1, Jerry West, 27 .1, Allen Averson, 26 .7, George Gervin, 26 .2, Oscar Robertson, 25 .7, Kobe, 25 .0, Harden, 24 .7, Curry, 24 .6, Wade, 22, barely made it, and Russ, 22 .4, and then Dame is at 25 again. All right, what does he not have that those other guys have? Well, MJ, don't need to talk about him. Don't need to talk about Jerry West, who's the freaking logo. Allen Averson, pretty good comparison, right? Big stats, really memorable player, but not a ton of success. Here's the difference. Averson made the finals once. He won an MVP. Dame has done neither of those things. George Gervin was the best scoring guard of the 70s. He made two final fours. He had some bad luck. He really, in 79, really should have came close. And some of it's on him, right? He could have come through. Bobby Dandridge is the one that ended up coming through for the Bullets. They lose. But two final fours, he had four top five MVP finishes, five first teams, four second teams. He was just unassailably the best guard in the league until MJ. Oscar Robertson, don't need to go through him, but he won a ring and an MVP. Kobe, five rings and an MVP. Eleven first teams for Kobe, by the way. James Harden, three final fours, an MVP, six top five MVP finishes, six first team MBAs. And even though Harden has never made the finals as the best guy, he made it with OKC as the sixth man, you could build a contender around Harden. We saw it. We haven't really seen it with Dame. I think that's a fair thing to bring up. Curry, four rings, two MVPs, you know, the Curry thing. Dwayne Wade, three rings, two top five MVPs, two first teams, three second teams. He's more in the Dame waters a little bit, but he had the 2006 finals and he was the second best guy with LeBron on those heat teams. And then Westbrook, who you would say, well, Dame had a better career than Westbrook. Did he? Westbrook made the finals in 2012. He was second best guy on that team. Almost made the finals in 2016. He won an MVP. He had two first teams and five second teams. It's at least like a real argument. And I think when you look at Dame, he only had that one 2019 round three, got bounced. He's only had one top five MVP finish. He's only had one first team MBA and four second team MBAs. Really, really good top 75 career. But the piece that's missing is, have you been on a really good team? Have you made a real run at it? Which is why, you know, I think this Milwaukee trade is so much fun. This is his real chance. I get nervous about a couple things with this trade. One is that, you know, if you look at the 33 and older guards who average 22 points a game in a season. Jordan did it twice. Curry did it twice. Still going. Kobe did it three times. Jerry West twice. Sam Jones once. Hal Greer once. That's the entire list. Now the NBA is different. We have more three -pointers now. It's easier to score. Scoring is the easiest it's ever been. Guys can play at a longer age. So I'm not ruling out Dane being good for the next three years. But just pointing out, history is saying, be a little nervous. In general with guards, like Chris Paul, we saw from age 35 to 36 to 37, like it just dropped. But that's two years older than Dane. Maybe it's fine. I just worry about guards. We have not a lot of instances with guards in their mid -30s of them either peaking as players or being able to sustain whatever success they had during their prime. It always starts to go down with really no exceptions, except for Steph Curry. He's the only non -exception. So if your case is Dane's as good as Steph Curry, or Dane can be as potent as Steph Curry on a winning team, like, you know, Steph Curry is better than Dane, but I'm not going to argue that he couldn't do a lot of the stuff that Curry did in Golden State. The bigger issue for me, the age I'm definitely worried about. Dane has not been healthy the last couple of years, and we have not seen him play nine straight months at playoff basketball with a big bullseye on his back. Everybody coming after you, you're the best team. We haven't seen him do that ever, much less than the last couple of seasons. So can he stay up? Can he stay healthy? That's one thing. The defense with Dane just got kind of swept under the rug the last couple days, and I don't really understand it because there's five categories of defensive player I feel like. There's excellent, there's good, there's average, there's not so good, and then there's bad. And I think Dane's a bad defender. I think the stats back it up. Like, his defensive rating last year was 245 out of the guards. He's the 245th guard for defensive rating. You know, 117 .4 individual defensive rating is 483 overall. Portland's team's always defensively, it was the Achilles heel for them. Partly because of Dane, because he couldn't guard anybody. He's too small. And, you know, think about what we saw from the playoffs the last couple years. I think about the 2020 bubble Celtics playoffs, not infrequently, because I think that team had a chance to potentially win a title. What happened? Everyone hunted Kemba Walker. It was hunting season. It's like, where is he? Got to get a switch. Got to get Kemba Walker guarding somebody who's bigger, or got to beat him off the dribble, and it just became a hunt session with him. And basically, he got played out of the league. He's not in the league anymore. You know, we had this with Isaiah Thomas, too, in the mid -2010s. I think it's been an issue with Kyrie Irving. The Celtics certainly went at him in the playoff series with Brooklyn a couple years ago. Curry, you saw, who I think is a better defender than people give him credit for, but the And he's a much better defender than Dame is. Jordan Poole is somebody that got hunted in playoff series recently. Chris Paul, obviously, is a big one. Jalen Brunson, remember what the Heat did to him? Mitchell, when he was on Utah, this was a huge issue. And then Trae Young, obviously. My fear with Dame is he's a DH, and I think in Portland, part of the reasons he was able to put up the stats he did was because he wasn't playing defense, right? It was just, how many points can I score? My team isn't very good, and I'm just going to do my thing. He's an incredible offensive player. But how much of a trade -off is the defense, right? Well, you think, all right, well, Milwaukee, they're really good defensively. They'll be able to protect him. Here's the team. Giannis, Dame, Lopez, Portis, Middleton, Conaton, Beauchamp, Crowder. Who's guarding Trae Young on this team? Who's guarding Jason Tatum? Here's a partial list of guys that I don't think this team will be able to guard this season. Devin Booker, Tatum, Butler, Trae Young, Kyrie, Curry. Who's going to be chasing Curry around the screens? Dame lowered? Good luck. SGA, Luca, Mitchell, Murray, Edwards, Brunson, Ja, Garland, Fox, Halburn. Are they going to be able to cover Derek White? I don't know. The way this team is constructed, they are not going to have the ability to guard other guards at all, which means they're just going to have to be in a shooting match with them, right? It's going to be not much different than what's going to happen with Phoenix, where they're just literally going to have to outscore the other team. I've just watched too much playoff basketball over the last couple years, where it's like, if you have that weak link on defense, and you're playing a team that's smart enough, they're going to go after that weak link. Like, think about them against the Lakers, right? The Lakers figure their crunch time. Let's say they make the finals. It's Milwaukee and the Lakers, and Lakers crunch time. They're going to have LeBron and Davis and Austin Reeves and, I don't know, a shooter and a point guard, whatever. All they're going to be doing is trying to find where Dame is on the court and going after him. What about when they play Boston? Boston puts out White and Brogdon and Tatum and Brown and a center, and all they're going to be doing is trying to make sure Dame is covering somebody who has the ball who's now torturing him. I think it's a real problem for them. And what's funny is they gave up Drew's defense and, you know, they, what they gave up on defense, which is significant, and they gained an offense, it might end up just being a wash and they might just be a different version of the same team where they still have a huge flaw. It's just on the other end of the court. I'm just shocked that nobody brought up the defense. I agree he's an amazing offensive player and what's cool about this trade and what I'm excited about as a basketball fan is, can he go up a level? Right? A lot of these stats he put up, especially the last couple years. They didn't mean anything. They were, he was on bad teams. Like, who cares? Ultimately, Bradley Beal scored 30 points a game on the Wizards. Who cares? I think most really good offensive players, if they're on a bad team, can get between 25 and 30 a night. Can you do it nine months in a row? Can you do it when you're getting hunted on defense all over the place? How much can Milwaukee protect him? And what does he have in the tank at age 33 with 900 plus games on the O 'Dominor already? I'm still afraid of the Bucks, but people have, like, FanDuel had them as best odds in basketball and I think most people feel like they're the favorite now. I don't feel like there's a favorite. I think you can go through every team. Boston, I could, I'm scared of Porzingis. What's going to happen with Jalen Brown out there? He has contracts. Can Peyton Pritchard, all these different things. Philly, God only knows. Miami, they're unquestionably worse. Yeah, Milwaukee is going to be really good, but depending where Holiday lands and how this all plays out, I just think it's still wide open. And the other piece, so if you're just talking Boston, Miami, Tatum kills Milwaukee. I have no idea why. Boston is kind of built to at least stay with Dame and, you know, Derek White is about as good of a person you're going to have to try to keep Dame in check, at least. And Boston's done a really good job of guarding Giannis over the years. They don't have Grant Williams this year, but I just don't think, I think there's as many ways this goes wrong as it goes right, I guess would be my final thought on this because for what they gave up, especially with that 29 unprotected and the two swaps and, you know, they are all in on this team. And you know my theory, when you go all in on a team, you better think you can win. Not positive, but it's an awesome trade. It really is. It makes the league so much more fun. Dame and Giannis together. I'm going to enjoy watching Portland. I still have my eating stock. Watching Phoenix fans slowly realize that Derkiszna isn't the answer is going to be fun and then we'll see where Drew Holliday goes. So really fun trade. We're going to talk about it a little bit more with Die Hard Bucks fan, Ben Thompson in one second. Let's take a break.
Fresh update on "isaiah" discussed on Evangelism on SermonAudio
"Okay, I think we're still talking about John 539. And so he's read a version of what he calls the error of Calvinism, and now here's the truth. And again, I think we're back. Let's see if I can find it in John 539. If they had irresistible grace, evidently they could resist God's grace. Christ says, ye will not come to me. He did not say, you cannot come to me. Notice how they resisted the will of God in the past. Well, of course, they were unregenerate. They were not being drawn by the Father. So yes, can unregenerate men not reply to the Word of God? Yes, they can. They can resist. But the question is, we're talking about those whose hearts have been changed by God and those whom the Father draws unto the Son. Following verse. Now, look at this following verse. He stiff met and uncircumcised in heart and ears did this, you do always resist the Holy Ghost. As your father did, so do ye. What did the prophets have not their fathers persecuted? And they have slain them which showed before the coming of the just one. Of home ye have been now the betrayers and murderers. You did it. You did it. Okay, again, I'm not sure what he's reading from, but he didn't give us a reference. But what he's talking about are those whose wills are hardened. And of course, yes, do they resist? Absolutely, they do. Well, whatever will be will be. This kind of gets on my nerves now. He's been doing this throughout, I think it's the Doris Day song, Que Sera Sera, as if we believe that the sovereignty of God is just a matter of whatever will be will be. That's not what we believe. We believe in a sovereign God who actually knows, as Isaiah said, from the end, from the beginning. A sovereign God who actually sits on the throne and issues decrees. And one who directs the course of history causes one king to rise, another to fall. One for whom the nations are but a drop in the bucket. And so we don't believe in any arbitrary setting forth of history. We believe in God's divine sovereignty over all things, including every action. As Christ said, the bird doesn't fall in the field apart from it being the Father's will. And so that's not whatever will be will be. That's a sovereign God who has his hand firmly steering the course and has directed the course and has decreed does as he will among the inhabitants of the earth. You know it's not their fault. Did God hold him accountable? You're responsible? The reason Christ never set up his kingdom upon the earth when he came the first time, they rejected him. Wow, that's kind of an interesting thought. He says the reason Christ didn't set up his kingdom on earth in his first advent was because men rejected him. So these men were more powerful than God. Of course the biblical teaching is Christ did not come in his first advent to set up a political kingdom. He says to Pontius Pilate in John 18 when he's on trial, he says, my kingdom is not of this world. And so the will of God was not thwarted by the resistance of men. In his first advent, Christ's goal was never to set up a political kingdom. It's when he comes the second time. In his second coming, he will come with power and glory and God will be all in all. But in his first advent, his work was not thwarted, his will was not thwarted by sinful men. He perfectly completed the work and he had no earthly kingdom to set up. His kingdom is not of this world. Why did he just give him this irresistible grace? Because they were not the objects of his saving election and his sovereign calling. Yes, he left them, he passed them over to remain in their sinful state, in their unregenerate state. The doctrine of irresistible grace is about God's work towards those who are saved, not about his work towards the unsaved. Didn't happen. Look at the bottom of the page. Am I a Calvinist? After all this... Right. I'm going to pause here. I think he's getting to the conclusion asking about am I a Calvinist? But I'm going to go back to irresistible grace. And again, I want to lay out some arguments, not based on psychology, not based on philosophy, but I want to look at some scriptural passages. And there are a couple of passages in John chapter six, I think that really stand out. In John six, verse 37, Christ said, all that the father giveth me shall come to me, and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. So that teaches both that the persons who be saved are given to the son by the father, and also they will persevere, they will not be cast out. Then in John 644, Christ said, no man can come to me except the father which hath sent me draw him. No man can come to me except the father which hath sent me draw him. That's our key proof text for irresistible grace. How does an unregenerate man come to Christ? The father must draw him. The father must overcome and overwhelm his sinful resistance. Irresistible grace is an act of God's mercy. It's grace because he overcomes our sinful rejection of Christ. And then also in John 665, we read these words, Christ said, therefore I say, therefore said I unto you that no man can come unto me except it were given unto him of my father. See, we're the passive recipients. We receive from the father. We are drawn by the father. Just reading again, John 644, made me think of a passage that is found in my little doctrines of grace book. I'll get this back on the full screen for just a moment. Of course, there's a chapter on irresistible grace. I cite John 644, and this is on page 84 of my book. Let me just read a little bit of what I wrote there. I said, we should take special note of John 644 and its use of the particular language of divine drawing. The Greek verb here is elkuo. The same verb appears in John 1232 when Jesus says, and I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto me. Unless one wants to affirm universalism, the idea that all people are eventually saved, regardless of their response to Christ, the all men in John 1232 should be taken as a reference to the fact that all kinds of people, that is Jews and Gentiles, slave and free, male and female, will be drawn to him. As previously noted in this study, biblical faith affirms the universality of the gospel, but not universalism. The point here is that God supernaturally draws those from all backgrounds who will be saved. That's what irresistible grace means. I continue here, page 84. It is also helpful to look at other examples of the use of the verb elkuo. Again, John 644, we've got this verb in English to draw. No man can come to me except the father which has sent me draw him. In Greek it's elkuo. It's not a psychological argument, not a philosophical argument, biblical argument. In John 1810, the same verb is used in reference to Peter drawing his sword when he tried to defend Christ when Christ was arrested. In John 21 6 and John 21 11, it is used in reference to dragging a net full of fish. When the risen Christ appears to the disciples of the Sea of Tiberius and they have the tremendous catch, they draw or drag elkuo, the net, to shore. In Acts 16 19 and in Acts 21 verse 30, it is used in reference to Paul being dragged away by the authorities. Finally, in James 2 6, it is used in reference to the rich dragging the poor into court. God must draw or drag the unbeliever to Christ in the way a sword is drawn from the sheath, the sword does not unsheathe itself, in the way fishermen carry their nets to shore, and in the way someone with power and authority compels another to come to court. This same stress on God's irresistible grace can of course also be found in the letters of Paul. I give a couple of examples of this. For example, in Philippians 1 29 where Paul says, For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake. See, it is given to you. You don't take it. It is given to you. By the way, also in this section I discuss five observations on the doctrine of irresistible grace, if you're curious about this doctrine in particular, and the five points that I make about this doctrine. I say, first of all, it's based on a radical biblical understanding of divine grace. Secondly, it's based on the sovereignty of God's free will. Third, it's based on the biblical understanding that apart from God's saving grace, man's will is totally enslaved to sin and Satan. Fourth, this doctrine rests on the understanding of regeneration preceding faith, and then fifth, this doctrine does not suggest either that the elect are saved against their will or that there will be those among the reprobate who want to be saved but whom God rejects. And one of the things I note here is, well, I talk about two arguments. Let me just go ahead and read some more of this. The word irresistible in Irresistible Grace stresses the fact that God's purposes of grace cannot be thwarted. God's purpose will prevail in the end. God's will cannot be resisted. To avoid any confusion, some prefer to speak of God's efficacious grace or effectual grace. Now I'll pause there. I could read some more there, but I'll just pause. And if you're interested in learning more about why we believe the doctrine of irresistible grace is not psychology, it's not philosophy, it's Bible. It's what the Bible teaches, even if it offends the flesh of men. All right, let's go back and see if we can continue a little bit further with the sermon. Let's see, we're at the 43, 28 minute mark. And again, he's kind of, I don't know, is he going to say yes? No. I mean, I don't think this is a cliffhanger.
A highlight from Evangelism: Muslims and Mormons
"Of things, looking at how when we speak and reach out to those who are around us, specifically we'll be talking about Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and then atheists as well. What are some things that as we seek to point them to Christ, what are ways in which we can engage them well? And so we are going to do those things together here. And with anything that you talk about, especially other world religions, I know pastor has been going through different denominations in the morning and kind of looking at some different aspects of denominations. I thought this would kind of be somewhat in line with that, looking at other religions and ones that are a little bit more common to you and I, maybe some less than others, but how is it that we can engage with them well? And of course, many things can be said about Jehovah's Witnesses, what they believe, Muslims, what they believe. And so the point of this isn't to give an exhaustive discussion about everything in which a Muslim or a Mormon might believe, but just to give us some handles that we can hold on to in our brains as we discuss the gospel with them. I know for myself, sometimes if I see someone on the side of the road and let's say I know they're a Jehovah's Witness, you know, there was times in my life where I would say like, ah, well, I don't really want to engage with them because I don't really know what they believe and I don't know how to answer all their questions, so I'm just going to, you know, I'm not going to talk to them. Whereas with Mormons, I had a lot more understanding of Mormonism and I had talked to a lot more Mormons. When a Mormon would come to the door, I'd be like, ah, come on in guys, like you want to come in? I'll get you some water? I'm like, let's chat. Because I had a better understanding of the Mormon faith and I felt like I was ready to engage them. I felt like I was ready to have an answer for questions and try to point them to the gospel. And so the point of all of this is to equip us as a church, to equip us as saints, as we go out into the world, at your jobs, in your neighborhood, with your family members. We might not all have a Mormon cousin, but you probably have an atheistic coworker. And so being able to engage them with the gospel and feeling that you are equipped, and I know many of us are, many of us are, so I hope this will just be a supplemental help to you in that endeavor. And so we're going to begin working through these notes. And if you look at your notes, the first one is Islam. And I recognize that Islam is not huge in the Midwest, in Omaha, Nebraska in particular. For sure there are Muslims. I've talked to a few since we've been here, walking around different parts of Omaha, but you almost have to go and find them. But I'm sure that even, I know, I'm speaking to Dan Williams and others that there are coworkers even here in Omaha that are, hold to the Islamic faith. And so I want to walk through each one of these religions together, give us a little brief understanding of their history. And because Islam is so big, where we are in Mombasa, a large portion of Mombasa is Islamic. A lot of times you'll have Somalis in particular that we're working with. The father will be here working in America and he will, they'll live here as a family for many years, but eventually as the kids get older, they send their kids back to a place like Mombasa because it's not, you know, a war -torn place like Somalia, but there's a large Islamic influence there and they want their children to be brought under that Islamic influence. And so we'll have a lot of Somali Muslims that are there, the kids in the model are there, and they're being taught and trained in that Islamic culture, and while the dad is here in America working and supporting them. And so there's Muslims here and I hope I'm writing that. I hope, I know a lot of times we can be afraid of Muslims, but there's, for the most part, there's no reason for that theory. So what I want to do is spend a little bit more time on Islam because again, it's something that we have been very, very engaged in, spending many hours talking with Muslims, and so it will be a little bit more in -depth, but I will try to walk through this one quickly. So today for the Sunday School, September 24th, Understanding the Other Side, we're going to be looking at Islam and Mormonism. Just out of curiosity, just out of curiosity, how many of you have either, you know, neighbor, relative, co -worker, whatever, who is Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, or atheist? Just raise your hand. Just probably raise your hand. So at least somebody, right? There's somebody. Now if he just said Muslim, there might be like two hands that go up, but that's all right. We'll get to the others, okay? So very briefly, I'm going to try and be brief, okay? I was trying to be brief with these notes and they ended up being 11 pages, so not off to a good start, but that is all right. So as you've seen in your notes, Islam, A, the history of Muhammad, early life. So of course, whenever you speak of Islam, you're speaking of Muhammad, and so if you talk to any Muslim, they will talk to you about the prophet Muhammad, and then they'll go on to say, just be upon him and ramble on these Arabic blessings about his name, but Muhammad was born in AD 570 and he died in AD 632. And in his life, living in Saudi Arabia, born in the city of Mecca, he had a rough childhood. His parents both passed away as a young boy. As a six -year -old boy, he went off to live with his uncle, or his grandfather, and then as an eight -year -old, as his grandfather died, he went off to live with an uncle, and so he was kind of moved around from family to family. He joined in the family business of being a camel caravan driver, so he would go on all of these long trips across Saudi Arabia, Syria, with his uncle and others that they were working for, traveling all over the place, delivering goods. At that time, in Saudi Arabia, of course, at this time, it was not an Islamic country as we think of it today, but there was all sorts of Gnostic Christianity, which is no Christianity at all. It taught a dualistic type religion and many, many problems with some Judaism, other pagan religions, polytheism. There's just a hodgepodge of religion going on in Arabia at that time. And so Muhammad would have come across all of these things as he's traveling around, listening to stories, discussing with other people. The Quran itself tells us very little about Muhammad himself. We don't really understand much about Muhammad at all if you've got random passages that don't really connect with anything, and you have to have some sort of grid to really be able to understand that. And you find that grid within the other important literature in Islam, which are the Hadiths, the Sirat, and these other religious important books that give the traditions and the understanding of who Muhammad was and what he did and all of that. And so in the Islamic literature, we discover these things about Muhammad, where he was and what it was like for him growing up and these other things. And so you might think, okay, you know, the pastor's going through Quranicals, and so we don't really want to go through any more genealogies with Muhammad and figure out who his grandpa and all of those people were. And that's not the point of discussing him being moved around and all of these things. But it is important to note that Muhammad was exposed at a young age as he's traveling all over to various religions. He's hearing different stories as he's traveling around. He's hearing stories from Gnostic Christians, again, who are not Christians at all. And if you read and study the Quran, you find that Muhammad oftentimes quotes things in the Quran that he either thinks are biblical excerpts, or he thinks that they come from the Jewish scriptures in the Old Testament. But as a matter like the Arabic Infancy Gospel of Matthew and these other Gnostic gospels that no Christian would have accepted, what Muhammad quotes is that he believes that they are, in fact, the Christian scriptures. And so this happens time and time again. Muhammad thinks he's quoting from the Bible, but he's really quoting from the Jewish Talmud. And this happens oftentimes. And so the understanding that Muhammad had of Christianity is by no means what you and I, and so even if you read the Quran, you see that Muhammad believes that the Trinity, the Trinity that the Christians believe in is God the Father, Mary, and Jesus. Of course, no Christian believes that the triune God is made up of Mary, and not even, if you want to try to point the finger at Catholics or Orthodox, not even Catholics or Orthodox go so far as to worship Mary. And so there's just a, in many ways, a bad understanding, for lack of a better word, a bad understanding of Christianity within the mind of Muhammad. But at the age of 25, Muhammad is employed by a woman named Khadija. He starts running his own caravan. He eventually marries this woman, and then he begins, as we get on to point number two there, Quranic Revelation, Muhammad begins to really seek after God. He wants to worship God. He wants to know God. And Muhammad goes away. He begins to go into a mountain near Mecca. He goes up into the mountain. He goes into the cave, and there he's fasting. He's praying. He's seeking to know Allah, which is just the Arabic word for God. And he wants to know God. He's trying to have a closer relationship with him. And again, for the sake of time, we're not going to go into any lengthy accounts of Muhammad and the experience he had in the cave. But what happened as Muhammad is there praying and fasting is Muhammad says that there is an angel named Jibril, which is Gabriel. And Jibril comes to him and says, Muhammad, read. And Muhammad says, I can't read. And the angel says, well, first the angel squeezes him very hard. Muhammad says it hurts him. It squeezes him very hard. And it says again, read. And Muhammad says, I can't read. And so this goes on. It's kind of like, I don't know, a Three Stooges play. But Muhammad just keeps telling the angel, I don't know how to read. And the angel beats him up a little bit and tells him to read again. And it just goes on and on and on until eventually Muhammad, you know, starts to recite parts of the Qur 'an that the angel Jibril is giving to him. And so this happens, and Muhammad comes home. As I'm quoting, I'm not quoting, but the place in which I'm getting this story from is from the Hadith, it's from the Surah, it's from the Islamic tradition itself. It's not some, you know, angry Christian writing from their seminary office saying like, ah, Muhammad was, you know, this crazy guy who's getting beat up by an angel as he's reciting the Qur 'an. And this is all from the Qur 'anic sources, Sahih al -Muslim, Sahih al -Bukhari, and so on. And so Muhammad then, he runs home to his wife, he hides under their covers, and he is petrified from what has happened. And he tells his wife, he's like, I don't know if I was meeting her with a demon or what happened, but it scared me and it hurt me and I don't know what happened. But his wife assures him, no, no, no, it was God, God is speaking to you, you should go back. And so Muhammad goes back, he continues to go back to this mountain, to this cave, and there he continues to receive revelations from this angel. And Muhammad goes on to say, this is a quote from, again, one of the Qur 'anic, one of the Islamic resources here, Sirah Rasula, says, Muhammad is quoted as saying, I will go to the top of the mountain and throw myself down that I may kill myself and gain rest. So I went forth to do so. And then when I was midway on the mountain, I heard a voice from heaven saying, oh, Muhammad, thou art the apostle of God and I am Gabriel. And so the Gabriel goes on to tell Muhammad, do not kill yourself, you're the apostle of God, you can't do this. But there's multiple times in the life of Muhammad while he is receiving Qur 'anic revelations where he seeks to kill himself, he tries to throw himself off of the mountain. And furthermore, there's other accounts of people saying that at that time, Muhammad was possessed by a demon. So these are just some facts to keep in the back of our mind. As we think about this, even within the Qur 'an, Surah, I had printed off, originally it was going to be in your notes, kind of a glossary of terms, because I know using a lot of these Surah and Ayah and all these type of things, you might not all know what that is, but Surah is just chapter and the Ayah is the verse. And so in the Qur 'an, Surah Adam 1, 22 to 25, 69, 41 to 42, Muhammad is trying to refute the idea that he is demon -possessed. And so he's arguing against the Jews and the Christians and are saying like, nah, we don't think you're demon -possessed, man. And he's like, no, I'm not. And he's trying to argue against that idea. And so this is just kind of a bit of a background as to how the Qur 'an was revealed to Muhammad. And so we might ask the question, well, do you think that Muhammad was just making all these things up? Is he just a total, is this all just a fabrication of his mind? I personally believe that Muhammad was not just making these things up. If you look at the scriptures and you see in the Old or the New Testament, you see various times when angels Abraham, appear to Mary, the Lord Jesus, Isaiah, there's many encounters where angels come and speak. Even the angel of the Lord comes and speaks to people. And many times people recognize that, oh man, like I am speaking to an angel and they are startled and there is awe and wonder that is within them as they speak to an angel. Not always, but we never see an angel of God coming and beating somebody up and hurting them and then causing them to become depressed and wanting to kill themselves and so on. And so what I believe is that as you look at the life and the story of Muhammad receiving the Qur 'anic revelations, his desire lines up much more with, as we read in the gospel, these, and again, not saying this to be crude or rude towards the Islamic faiths, but faith. But you see a herd of pigs when they are enveloped by demons, high -tempered toward the cliff and jumping off. We see Judas Iscariot, when he is the son of Perdition, when he is, it says, the Bible says that the devil goes into him and he betrays Christ and turns Christ over. Shortly thereafter, himself, Judas, killing, many believing, killing himself. And so it just doesn't seem that Muhammad truly had, of course we don't believe that Muhammad is a prophet of God, but it would be much more in line that, yes, Muhammad did have a revelation, but it was not from God, but rather, as we read in 2 Corinthians 11, 13 and 14, for such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
Fresh update on "isaiah" discussed on Evangelism on SermonAudio
"Coming tonight and thank you for being willing to participate in reading those verses at the appropriate time if you just get them ready and if you can quote them that's great how about we pray that's probably the best place to start so let's do that now let's pray Heavenly Father thank you for the rain thank you for the fact that it reminds us of your care for us summer and winter and sea time and harvest and day and night cold and heat all the seasons the weather that you send is an evidence of your gracious provision for the earth and your hand upon us and we just want to acknowledge that and thank you for your goodness and grace thank you for blessing us in many ways thank you for giving us the scriptures and we pray that the word would be instructive to us help us Lord to rightly divide the word of truth to study to show ourselves approved workmen and Lord for the work that needs to be done we pray Lord that you might bless us as we seek to labor for you help us to be good laborers together with God we pray that we'd be equipped to be fruitful and productive in your service pray that tonight would be helpful to that end and that we ask this in Jesus name and for Jesus sake amen okay well for the for some time now we've been considering the evangelistic example of Jesus but tonight I would like to do a bit of a shift and hey Elliot there's a sheet there you grab it if you like but besides the Lord Jesus there in your nose beside the Lord Jesus the next probably the good word to include that the next outstanding example of evangelist in the New Testament is the Apostle Paul evangelism was the heartbeat of his life by the end of his ministry the gospel had launched Gentile churches throughout the Roman Empire and put practically every Gentile convert could trace the gospel message they believe back to the preaching of Paul it's quite incredible to consider the impact and the fruitfulness of the effective in evangelizing the lost well he was a he was obviously a very very gifted man a chosen vessel unto the Lord however there are at least seven explanations for his effectiveness here in the scriptures and so again this is being going to be for our benefit and instruction and help this evening just welcome we've just started Paul had the right message okay who's got 2nd he was concerned that someone else would come along and preach a different gospel and they would just accept it they would be seduced as Eve was okay Paul's greatly concerned about the content of the gospel Galatians 1 6 to 9 Ronald very very strong words there for someone who would preach another gospel that is not another of the same kind another of a different kind okay is the Greek there Paul was an effective evangelist because he held fast to the right message Paul clearly held fast to the truths of the gospel and did not tolerate any variation of the gospel message one of the reasons people are not effective in evangelism because they're not sure about the content of the gospel and this is something we're going to come back to tonight okay this is going to be the what is the gospel message the truth of the gospel we'll come back to this it's going to be our main point but let's push on Paul to begin with he was effective evangelist because he had the right message he knew it he could spot a phony an imitation a counterfeit a mile away had the right message secondly he had a compelling motive a compelling motive who's got second five Thank You Jeffrey verses 10 to 15 a patient with glory on our behalf that he may have somewhat to answer then which glory appearance and whether we decide ourselves it is to God or whether we be so that it is for your cause for the love of Christ constrain of us because we thus judge that if one died for all then were all dead and that he died for all and that they which live should henceforth should not answer live unto themselves but unto him which died for them and rose again. okay thank you Paul understood that every Christian is going to eventually stand before the judgment seat of Christ okay not to be judged for our sin because that's already been taken care of but our life and what we've done for the Lord those things were either good gold silver precious stones as if we follow the analogy 1st Corinthians 3 or bad that is wood, hay and stubble worthless things and this was a great concern to Paul he understood that people would be rewarded for how faithful they serve the Lord and Paul knew that he himself was accountable to God and for that reason he wanted to make his life count that's why he says in verse 14 the love of Christ constrains us Paul understood that his life had been redeemed by Christ and that was a remarkable thing you know the chief of sinners and how could he be saved and the Lord had done a wonderful thing in his life and that stirred up love in his heart for the Lord and he wanted to spend his life serving the Lord and winning the lost and that was a constraining thing for him because at the end of his life he'd have to stand before the Lord noted immediately after he describes that this judgment seat for rewards verse 10 then he writes the following verse verse 11 in light of that judgment he makes it the aim of his life to persuade men to persuade men about the truth about Jesus and so it's he's motivated he has a compelling motive because he knows he's going to stand before the Lord one day and a given account of his life and he wanted that to be a joyful day not a grieve a day of regret and so it is for us okay let's not just let's not just think that Paul's the only one who's going to stand before the Lord and given account of his life we all will and this should be a compelling motive for us as well thirdly number three Paul had a divine call 1st 16 who's got that one thanks Aaron okay well is unto me for preaching at the gospel you know not it's not a way of condemnation you know I'm in fear of my eternal security I got his God has called me to do this and I'm obliged to do it it's in this necessity is laid upon me it's a necessary thing got a commission Paul to preach the gospel take the gospel to the Gentiles and Paul certainly had a sense of a divine call to evangelize and and maybe maybe we don't sense the same divine call but the thing is we have the Great Commission okay we've got the Great Commission to go and preach the gospel to every creature and so if we listening to God's word then again that there's there's pressure that comes upon us that way as well number four Paul had an eager boldness and eager boldness our reference there is first is Romans 1 16 perhaps you know it Paul says I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Christ it's the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believe the Jew first and also to the Greek Paul is Paul is confident he's confident to proclaim the gospel because it does work it's powerful and that gives in tremendous boldness Philippians 1 21 for me to live is Christ and to die is going that's incredible boldness that enabled him to preach the gospel fearlessly if he dies that's a win for him such was his confidence in the Savior okay number five a walk in the spirit who's got Ephesians 5 verse 18 thanks Jarrell okay Colossians 1 9 okay so let's just take a couple more here while we're going up first first Thessalonians 5 verse 19 good that's alright that's alright so JC it's good we put a Bible in your hand for that massive verse wasn't it and acts 13 verse 2 okay couple of verses there let's put a few things together here Paul was dependent upon the Holy Spirit's power and guidance okay he lived his life he knew what it was to be continually filled with the Spirit he knew what it was Colossians 1 9 to have his mind filled with the knowledge of God's will he knew what God wanted him to do and he's the Spirit of God is is fills his life enabling him to do what he knows what God wants him to do he had no pattern of unconfessed sin in his life he wasn't perfect okay we know that there would have been times Paul need to get things right with the Lord but that was a that was a they sort of the the atmosphere is his life to to be constantly doing the will of God filled with the Spirit of following the Spirit of God walking in the spirit directed by the Spirit is on his evangelistic journey he's making his plans but the Spirit of God says no don't do that go here says okay no worries we'll do that this was what Paul was like in the bit from the beginning of his life acts chapter 13 verse 2 when the Holy Spirit said you know separate Paul and Barnabas these are men whose lives are directed by the Spirit of God from that moment to the end of his life in martyrdom all the way through Paul experienced the power of the Spirit of God working upon his life and through him again this is this same Spirit of God in fills us and is available to empower and guide us as well number six Paul had a deliberate strategy a reference there is acts chapter 18 we won't look it up but this is Paul going to Corinth and Paul when he went into Corinth did what he did in most other places you always go to the synagogue first if there was one there this was his strategy he would go to the synagogue first because he was accepted there he was a Jew they had a Bible Old Testament scriptures and this was great for Paul to evangelize he could open the Old Testament and teach them about Jesus they believed the Bible as a as a that's a benefit okay you get at least you get started a conversation and this was Paul's strategy always go the Jew first and then to the Gentiles if the Jews shut him down ran him out and they just go to the Gentiles sometimes you go to the synagogue Jews are get saved he gets some co-workers there co-workers hell to help him with the evangelism amongst Jewish people and Gentile people were wherever he went this was Paul's strategy you know some people think that depending upon the Spirit of God means you don't have any strategy like this you just do whatever the Spirit of God leads you to do without a strategy well to not have a strategy that is a strategy isn't it that's a strategy we don't plan anything our strategy is not to plan anything but Paul was filled with the Spirit led by the Spirit we also planned things pretty meticulously as well again all of his plans were subject to the Lord's sovereignty there was no problem got it a better plan let's go with that but Paul approached his evangelism deliberately and strategically and if we go out evangelizing with a strategy in mind that's a good thing the Lord might lead us otherwise that's fine but it's not irresponsible to plan Paul did it now number seven he had an unwavering desire he's got Romans 1 14 and 15 thanks Jeff to the wise okay Paul understood himself to be a debtor to unsaved people he had something that they did not he knew they desperately needed it he felt obliged to share it with them he felt like is a man under obligation I have the truth you don't have it I'm obliged to give it to you Paul evangelized like a man in debt and again we ought not see ourselves as being any different okay so there are there are let's just you know just we're just surveying the scriptures here gleaning there's seven things there that were impacts upon Paul's life that helped him to become an effective evangelist but let's come back to this major point for this evening about having the right message to share with people the right message let's turn over please to 1st Corinthians 15 1st Corinthians 15 in a in a minute just stay at the bottom just stay at the bottom for now we'll turn over in just a minute okay 1st Corinthians 15 I like to read verses 1 to 5 1st Corinthians 15 verse 1 moreover brethren I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you which also you have received and wherein ye stand by which also you saved if you keep in memory what I preached unto you unless you believed in vain for I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures and that he was seen of Cephas and then of the 12 okay now we have this some facts of the gospel not not not everything but some study the New Testament we can there are other elements of the gospel which we can assemble and what I've done for you on the bottom of the first page there I've provided you with a definition of the gospel that is going in here and there in the scriptures pulling together things which provide with a succinct statement eight phrases that I think provide a fairly robust definition of the gospel now there's got all blanks there hasn't it okay okay let me just I will read through it and I'll give you the black give you the fill in the blanks as we go okay the gospel is the message the gospel is a message the gospel is the message of God's plan the gospel is the message of God's plan and his work to blank something sinners save there you go the gospel is the message of God's plan and his work to save sinners from his wrath very good it's the message of God's plan and his work to save sinners from his wrath and to bring them into a relationship with himself through life death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and to offer that rescue to all who will turn from sin and trust in Christ now there's a fairly robust definition it has been if you look on the bottom of page three little footnote there that the content that I'm about to share with you is adapted from a book by James B Carroll called collateral damage in which surprisingly I was very surprised to find this very helpful definition of the gospel which I've modified just slightly for our purposes this evening and we're going to unpack it in detail each of those eight phrases and I've given you very comprehensive notes saturated in Scripture and I hope this will be a good resource for you I'm sure it can be improved and maybe that was something that you might do you know work at coming up with a definition of the gospel which you know is something that you know you've labored over to put together and you just know what the content of the gospel is all right so let's let's unpack these eight phrases firstly the gospel is a message okay we're over the over the page now and there's plenty of blanks so hopefully you can keep up and if you can't that's okay we can come back I've got an answer sheet here I can end you at the end or look on look on with the person next to you this is not cheating this is called helping one another firstly the gospel is a message it's a message from God to man revealed in the Bible it is a specific message and it is a good message it's a good message in fact it's often called good news because it proclaims good tidings of great joy to all people Luke chapter 2 verse 10 God intends the gospel message to be universally proclaimed case for all people God intends for the met the gospel message be universally proclaimed and personally believed okay universally proclaimed to everyone but it's got to be individually and personally believed it's a message to be joyfully received for it's the best news that a person can ever hear gospel is a message from God revealed in the Bible secondly next phrase the gospel is the good news of God's plan and his work it's the good news of God's plan and his work the message of the gospel begins with God he is he's a holy righteous creator he is eternal meaning that he exists before all things he is transcendent meaning he is above and beyond all things he's absolutely and perfectly holy which means he is unparalleled in the majesty of his incomparable being his blameless faultless and unblemished in his moral purity is a holy God okay and that is a an essential element of the gospel it's because of that that we are in such need because we are unacceptable unworthy to be in his presence the gospel is his story it's a holy God's story it's the narrative it's the one narrative he's been unfolding from could it be before the foundation of the world and does anyone know what our reference there is first Peter Peter had some significant things to say about the gospel content of the gospel God is not reacting to man's whims or figuring it out as he goes along God is working out his sovereign and meticulous plan in the gospel God's plan is announced otherwise we wouldn't know about it but the gospel isn't merely about the plan it also tells how God works to accomplish his plan he is not a mere bystander he doesn't direct affairs from afar God works to reveal his plan and to accomplish it he is the author of the plan and the one who works to bring it to pass all right third phrase the gospel tells of God's plan and his work to save sinners the gospel tells of God's plan and his work to save sinners because God is perfectly holy he cannot commit or approve of evil he's totally separate from sin for he is of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look upon iniquity and does anyone know what our reference is there it's a key verse I think you put it in your gospel arsenal Habakkuk chapter 1 verse 13 God is of purer eyes than to behold evil cannot look upon iniquity Habakkuk chapter 1 verse 13 because because all people without exception have sinned we're unworthy and to approach God and a cut off from his presence but the good news of the gospel is that God should be is rescuing God is rescuing men and women from their sinful condition people are as it were and this might be a helpful illustration for you people as it were drowning in the sea of their rebelling against God and he is reaching into the water to save them Jesus said I am NOT come to call the righteous but to seek and to say that which was lost now taken two verses there put them together parts of two verses Matthew 9 13 and Luke 19 verse 10 according to the Bible every person born on the earth has inherited a nature that is inclined to sin Psalm 55 verse 5 inherited a nature that is inclined to sin we've been every person born 51 become 51 verse 5 we've inherited a nature inclined to sin and all people are will willingly choose to rebel against God where sin is by nature sin is by choice okay again these are things which are self-evident but they are significant in having gone for gospel conversations we're sinners by nature and you have to teach children to do the wrong thing they do it naturally we all do it naturally but we also choose to do the wrong things ourselves from our earliest days we shake our fists at our Creator seeking to usurp control of our own lives the gospel makes strong statement about mankind namely that we're all sinners and we stand in desperate need of rescue from our sins and its consequence and its consequence fourthly the gospel offers salvation from God's wrath the consequence of a rebellion against God of our rebellion is the wrath of God Romans 1 18 for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness and ungodliness of men the wrath of God abides on us because of our sin God's wrath is best understood as his holy and justified reaction against sin unlike human wrath God's wrath is never out of control and never lacks wisdom it is his directed intense righteous reaction to sin the practical practical result of his wrath is death death John 3 36 shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him shall not see life the wrath of God abides on him Ezekiel 18 verse for another key verse the soul that sinneth it shall die God's wrath against sin we die physically as we pay the penalty of our sins Romans 5 verse 12 wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin so death passed upon all men all have sinned we die physically as we pay the penalty of our sins but we also die spiritually as we pay the penalty of our sins Romans 6 23 a Rome Ephesians 2 verse 5 a even when we were dead in sins the ways of sin is death the Bible describes his spiritual death as separation from God Ephesians 2 12 without hope and without God in the world separated from God Ephesians 4 18 being alienated from the life of God the Bible describes spiritual death as separation from God the reality of this separation will reach its horrible climax when God judges all people and brings everlasting punishment upon all who have continued in their rebellion a couple of references there the Bible calls the place where these people will suffer for eternity hell and describes it as a place of suffering Luke 16 24 the rich man who and Lazarus okay that rich man being in hell lifted up being his eyes being in torment I am tormented in this flame it's a place of suffering it's a place of darkness it's a place of unquenchable fire so the gospel is the message of God's work to rescue or save people from his wrath which they justly deserve because of sin fifth the gospel tells of God's work to bring sinners into a right relationship with himself the gospel tells of God's work to bring sinners into a right relationship with himself he fee Isaiah 59 verse 2 makes a clear and alarming proclamation about sin and its effect on a person's relationship with God but your iniquities have separated between you and your God your sins if it is hit his face from you so that he will not hear again another good Bible verse for your gospel Arsenal Isaiah 59 verse 2 we're not in a right relationship with God where the relationship has been broke we're separated because of sin as sinners we sit hopelessly under the condemnation of God's wrath which separates us from him despite his great love for us he will not and cannot overlook our sin he cannot he will not and cannot overlook our sin and tarnish his perfection and justice the gospel though is the good news of how God crossed this chasm created by our sin and is bringing sinners back to himself sixth the gospel tells of the work of Jesus Christ God works to say sorry God's work to save and accomplish God's work to save was accomplished through the life death and resurrection of Jesus he is the only begotten Son of the Father a full member of the Godhead yet he became flesh lived as a human being okay became flesh 1 John 4 and 1 John 1 for John 1 14 lived as a human being Philippians 2 providing us with the only way of salvation that's the gospel story centers on Jesus and his God's standard perfectly he lived a life of perfect righteousness which we never could then he dies a sacrificial death upon the cross in our place bearing God's wrath for us and making the tournament for our sin through the shedding of his sinless blood shedding of blood for an atonement what's of reference there 17 11 Leviticus 17 11 again another important verse the life of the flesh is in the blood I've given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for yourself it's a blood that makes atonement for the soul pastor enemies to say the blood is the only cleansing agent for sin first peter one again we were dealing with the precious blood of Christ Jesus died the death that we deserved again Peter first Peter 3 18 Christ also once suffered for sin the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God Jesus died the death that we deserved he the just one died for we unjust ones but he could not be held by death on the third day Jesus rose from the dead first Corinthians 15 20.
A highlight from John Amanchukwu (Encore)
"Welcome to the Eric Metaxas Show. We'll get you from point A to point B. But if you're looking for point C, well, buddy, you're on your own. But if you wait right here, in just about two minutes, the bus to point C will be coming right by. And now, here's your Ralph Kramden of the Airways, Eric Metaxas. Hey there, folks. Welcome to the show. We have a guest on who, man, I don't even know how to start. First of all, I'll try to pronounce his name correctly. John Amanchukwu. I got John correct. I think I got Amanchukwu correct. John Amanchukwu is someone I've come to admire tremendously. He's in North Carolina. He is he's been a pastor for years. He is a brave voice in the midst of the madness, one of the bravest voices. And it's my privilege to have him as my guest for this hour. John, welcome. Hey, thank you so much, Dr. Eric, for having me on your show. You can't call me Dr. Eric because I'm not a doctor, but you can call me whatever you want. Could you call me the Commodore or Admiral? I'd prefer I really prefer that. But no, seriously, you you have been such a brave voice and people have seen you, you know, probably on Instagram reels or whatever. Tell my audience, because this is it's always better when my guest tells the story. But you've been a brave voice speaking out against the. What would be a nice term for it, satanic lunacy of. Profoundly sexual material being given to children in our schools, very tough for most of us to believe that this is happening, but it has been happening. You've been exposing it and you've been bravely speaking against it. So let's just start, John, with how did you get involved in this? At what point did you say I'm going to step up and start confronting these crazy abusers? Because that's what they are, abusers of our children. How did that start for you? Well, I've been involved in this kind of work for the past 20 years. I joined a church in college called Upper Room Church for God in Christ. I joined at the age of 19. And the senior pastor is Bishop Patrick Langwood and senior. And he says that our church is a cause driven church. You know, we believe that there is a cause in Christ. There's a cause in the marketplace for us to bring our biblical world view to it, to engage the culture and to fight against evil and wickedness. Isaiah 520 says, woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness. And so we've just been on the front lines on the abortion clinic issue, fighting against fatherlessness and the black community. And now even with this indoctrination in the public school system, now, some people call it indoctrination and some people call it grooming. But I like to call it mental rape. That's the best way for me to define what has taken place in the public school system. I call it mental rape because it assaults the soul. It stains the brain and it robs children of their innocence. When you put pornographic material in a library and make it accessible for kids, K through 12, a child is going to pick that book up. And I went out to Asheville and spoke about a book entitled It's Perfectly Normal. That book is for kids 10 and up. It's hardcore porn. It's not soft porn. It's hardcore porn. That book gives Hugh Hefner a run for his money. When you open the book, it depicts images of heterosexual sex and homosexual sex. Why do 10 year olds need to see and learn how you should have lesbian sex at the age of 10? That's disgusting. That's evil. It's mental rape. There's an assault taking place upon children, and there's a critical point that's being left out of the equation. And that's the church. The church is not engaging. We need some modern day Karl Barth. We need some modern day Martin Niemol. We need some people who are willing to engage the culture and tell the church, listen, we are not supposed to be co -opted by the state. The state is not supposed to run the church. And when we go into a public school, we have this thing called parental choice. Some call it rights, but I call it parental choice. I call it parental choice because our rights come from God as parents. But choice parents have had the choice and the knowledge of being able to assess and know what's going on in the public school system and to have the freedom and the liberty to push back when there is an assault upon their children. Well, listen, everything you say, I mean, I agree with it violently. I am in churches effectively preaching what you just said in a little different way. But what basically this is called, what you are advocating for is called the technical term is Christianity. This is called Christian faith. If you do not do what what you're describing, if you're not pushing back, if you're not being salt and light in the culture, if you're not being a warrior for truth and speaking against evil, then you are not living out your Christian faith. But there are many, many churches and you and I know about that that do not do this. They don't get involved in this. They say we don't want to be divisive. These are the same people that would say, you know, we don't care if there's slavery happening, as long as it's not happening in my church. That's right. It's complete hypocrisy. And as Christians, we are called to step up. And I keep saying that the Lord has allowed it to get this bad to wake up those who are still sleeping, because what you just described is very tough for me and most people, even to hear that children would be exposed to this absolutely evil stuff. What do you call it if you don't call it evil? This is evil for children to be exposed to these kinds of things. And it's shameful that they're just a handful of brave souls like you speaking against it.
Fresh update on "isaiah" discussed on Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life
"One of the biggest obstacles for people to believe in Christianity is that they think they already know all about it, but if we look at Jesus' encounters with various people during his life, we'll find some of our assumptions challenged. We see him meeting people at the point of their big unspoken questions. The Gospels are full of encounters that made a profound impact on those who spoke with Jesus and in his book Encounters with Jesus, Tim Keller explores how these encounters can still address our questions and doubts today. Encounters with Jesus is our thanks for your gift to help Gospel in Life reach more people with the amazing love of Christ. Request your copy of Encounters with Jesus today when you give at gospelinlife.com slash give. That's gospelinlife.com slash give. Now here's Tim Keller with the remainder of today's teaching. But then there's a second kind of laughter that comes up in their lives. You see, we have to jump over chapter 21. Back before Isaac is born, they were laughing, but it was a shallow laughing of scoffing. It was the laughing of self-defense trying to keep themselves from the hope of the Gospel, which was so incredible that they were afraid to believe it. There's another kind of laughing, and the other kind of laughing is the wild laughter of addiction and of fixation. Now if you go to the other side of this incident, you'll see something very, very strange and very weird, and that is chapter 21 verse 8, and in other words, if I had kept on going, which we didn't, and printed more of this here, in chapter 21 verse 8, we're told that when Isaac was weaned, you know, when he went off breast milk, Abraham had a huge party, a great feast. And you just imagine the laughing and the, and the, and the, and this food and the drink and the celebration. Can you imagine Abraham and Sarah laughing and doting? However, in verse 9 we're told that Ishmael, who was Abraham's child through the maidservant Hagar, was making fun of Isaac, and Sarah turned, her laughter turned to fury, and she comes to Abraham and says, throw the maidservant and her son out. Because you see, what's going on here is Sarah is doting on, she's laughing in Isaac, but she's laughing in a way that that laughter turns to rage immediately. If anybody touches the apple of her eye, the light of her life, see, immediately, there's something wrong with her laughter, and there's also something wrong with Abraham's laughter because in chapter 22, God comes to Abraham and says, verse 1 says, God tested Abraham. And then it says, he came to Abraham and said, Abraham, take your son, your only son, whom you love, and go to the mountains of Moriah and go up into a mountain that I show you and sacrifice him there to me. Why would God, knowing how crushingly difficult this request is, why would God not just say, take your son, but your only son whom you love? Why would he say that? You know, twisting the knife, no, because that's the issue. What Abraham and Sarah had done is they had taken Isaac and made him now the center of their lives. There was a laughter in Isaac, but it was a laughter of addiction, it was a laughter of fixation. He was now the light of their lives, he now, and there's a, now, here's something we've This laughter, just like the first kind of laughter, isn't really laughter. The first kind of laughter is really filled with fear, and filled with a kind of adolescent fear of loss of control and a loss of vulnerability, I mean, and a vulnerability, a loss of independence. This is a different kind of laughter. It turns to rage very quickly, it turns to terror very quickly if anything goes wrong with the thing that you've put your hope in. You see, the first kind of laughter comes when you're afraid to put your hope in anything. The second kind of laughter comes when you take something or someone or something and put all your hopes in it. And this kind of laughter is also wrong, it's also bad, it's not real laughter, there's no real joy under it as you can see. Now for a minute we have to stop and say, the word addiction is pretty strong and I'm afraid that some of you are going to miss the point. First of all, let's take a look at the case, but then I'll show you the principle. The case of building your life on your children. You know what happens if your children become the light of your eyes? If the children become the savior of your souls, do you know what happens? Several things can happen. First of all, because your child is the very first thing in your life, you may be so afraid of displeasing your child, you may be so absolutely afraid of the child's anger that that leads to underdiscipline. You're afraid to ever get the child angry and therefore, underdiscipline, the child grows up spoiled, self-indulgent, undisciplined. Or it's also possible that because you build your whole life around the child, that what happens then is that you do overdiscipline because when your child is displeased with you, it's like a death, it's like a spiritual death, it's like an emotional death and you just snap. But worst of all, the child will grow up knowing that you are living your life out through that child and that you are not really loving that child, but you're loving yourself through the child. And the child will sense that unless they succeed or are beautiful or successful or athletic or whatever, that you don't love them, that you're let down, they can't take the pressure, they won't be able to take the pressure, there's nothing more destructive than that. Now, some of you, your whole life just flashed before your eyes, I know, I know, but we've got to get on, we've got to get on very quickly because that's just the psychological manifestation of the real problem which is a theological distortion. The theological distortion is the first kind of laughter, I'm afraid to even, I'm afraid to hope in anything, but in the second kind, you zip over the giver and you put all of your heart in the gift. And both kinds of laughter are just ways of avoiding resting and rejoicing in the giver himself. They're both ways of, in a sense, of staying in charge. In fact, what's really interesting is how Sarah, originally, three or four chapters ago, like chapter 16 and so on, Sarah came to Abraham and said, Abraham, you know what, I don't think that God's ever going to give you a son through me. The promise is too great, why don't you sleep with Hagar? And very interesting, he sleeps with Hagar and they try to fulfill the promise, not in God's way. Here's what's interesting, they say, we're going to get a son, but we're going to get a son not through God's work, but through our work, not through God's grace, but through our human effort, not in God's time, but in our time. They're trying to save themselves. What's interesting is even though they seem to understand grace in chapter 21, when Sarah says God has brought me laughter, yet in practice they're doing with Isaac what they did with Ishmael in principle, and just like most of us who are Christians remember before we understood the gospel, that we were trying to save ourselves through our own effort, after we become Christians, in principle we seem to understand that we're saved by grace, not by works, but in practice we continue on the same way. I mean, that's the reason why God tested Abraham and said, take your son, your only son whom you love, and go up the mountain and sacrifice. Why is it a test? When I was a teacher, I would give my lectures, and then I would test them, and the reason I was testing was not because I didn't think they heard anything I said, I figured they heard it, I was testing them because I wanted them through the test to work it in, to think it out, to get it down, see? And God had to come to Abraham and Sarah, and he had to say, Isaac was a gift, but Isaac's not the giver, I'm the giver, and as a result there was this wild laughter of addiction in their life, there was this wild laughter of fixation, but it still wasn't the laughter of grace, it still wasn't the laughter of joy. See, thirdly, the laughter of grace is what? God has made me to laugh. Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a child, yet I have? Now it's all there, and if you want to understand what this means, you've got to go back to that beautiful little place where God is talking outside the tent, and he says, I'm going to come back and Sarah's going to get a child, and Sarah hears through the tent and says she laughed to herself, she says cut it out, come on, to herself, and the Lord turns to her and says, why did you laugh? And Sarah got scared and said, I did not laugh, and God says, no, but you did. Why does he do that? Because he wants it on the record. Why did he do that? What was Sarah's sin? If you want to know what Sarah's sin is, you have to see there's a little phrase in the where he says, why did Sarah laugh when I said this? Is anything too hard for the Lord? And every commentator I know says the original Hebrew word, but it's never translated that way is, is anything too wonderful for the Lord? Sarah's mistake, Sarah's sin, Sarah's sin is that she wouldn't wonder. Now you know, little children wonder. Their eyes get big like saucers, take them to a zoo, take them to an amusement park, take them to any Steven Spielberg movie, wonder. But when they get to be 13, like Naomi Wolf said, you know, you can take them to the, you take them to the greatest movie, the most incredible sports event, and they come back, what was it like? It wasn't terrible, why? Because we are afraid to wonder, no, because we can't. G.K. Chesterton wrote an interesting essay some years ago on why fairy tales give us such wonder. It's called The Ethics of Elfland, and he says there's always three things in every one of those stories. Number one, there's an acknowledgement of hopelessness, there's a doom where an impossible situation, you know, everybody's been turned to stone, you know, something's wrong, doom. And the second thing is, there's also an acknowledgement that there is a world out there though, of stupendous powers and deep mysteries, you know. But then number three, there's a heroic key, some way in which, unlooked for, the door is open between that power, and it comes into relation with the impossible situation, and there's resolution. So beauty and the beast, impossible situation, what's the heroic key? She sacrifices herself, she loves the unlovely, she gives herself to what looks like to be a nightmare, and ah, you see, there's these great powers in the world, and they come in and we didn't realize it, and now everything is redeemed. Don't you see, the gospel story is the story of wonder, from which all other fairy tales and stories of wonder take their cues. You can see it in the structure of this very passage, chapter 21, over and over again, it says over and over again, there is a God who will definitely do what he said, as he said it, when he said it, there's a God, high acknowledgement of the high realities and powers in the universe. Secondly, there's an impossible situation, they're old, they're a hundred years old, they're worn out, they're barren. But then there's a heroic key, and that is the son of the promise. You see, C.S. Lewis in his famous article on hope, he says, there's three kinds of people, he says there's the cynic, and they laugh, what? They laugh at the idea that there's powers out there, that's the reason they have no wonder. And then there's the fool, and the fool thinks, I can save myself, I can put my life right if I just, my career gets like this, if I get into this school, if I have this child, if I have a wonderful little family, if I have children that love me, if I have this great sexual partner, it's the fool. You see, the cynic has no wonder in life, because one admit the powers that are out there in the universe. And the fool has no wonder in life, because, won't admit that you're lost. Your situation is impossible, that you will screw up your children, you will screw up your career, that you are weak, that you can't get there, and as a result, both those people have no wonder. But in the gospel, we're told, there is a great God, and there is an impossible situation, your sin, but there's a heroic key, the son of the promise. Who is the son of the promise? He's the one to whom Isaac points. He is the true Isaac, because you see, if this Isaac could be born and triumphed through God's grace, all the impossibilities of a situation of a wife who's 90 years old, giving her husband a child, the greater Isaac, you see, was born the way he was. He was born without any husband at all involved. And the angel came to his mother and said, nothing is too hard or wonderful for God. And this is the son of the promise, and he has come. How is it possible, though? How is it possible? You see, we're like Sarah. If you get over your laughter of disbelief, and if you get over your laughter of addiction, and say, God has made me to laugh. He has brought me laughter. If that happens, then what happens is this power from on high, this Jesus Christ himself is born in you, is born through you. You have to believe the objective. You have to believe that there is a power out there. You have to believe in God. You have to believe the truth, but it's not enough. You have to rejoice in it. You have to rest in it. You have to take your hearts off the other Isaac's in your life, and you have to rest in it. You have to give yourself to it. But when that happens, Christ is born in you. Well, how could that be? How could it be that Jesus Christ could come into your life after all the wrong kinds of laughter? You know, a lot of us have done it both. A lot of us have been skeptical, laughed at Christianity, and we've also said, but if all, if everything, if I just got this, if I just got that, then everything would go right. You know, there's no wonder in our life. We've been laughing in all the wrong ways. How could he come in? I'll tell you how. Because you see, the true father took the true Isaac up a mountain, raised the dagger over his head, and there was nobody there to say don't, brought it down. In Proverbs chapter 8 verse 30, it talks about when God was creating the world, that he was creating the world with wisdom at his feet, and wisdom says, I danced and rejoiced before God as we created the world together. And the Hebrew word there is the word shakak, it's the word for Isaac. I danced before the Lord. I danced before God. I delighted in him and in the world that we were creating. Jesus Christ says, I am the wisdom. You will know her by her fruit. John chapter 1 says, in the beginning was the word, the wisdom, and the word was with God and the word was God. Here's what happened. Jesus Christ, throughout all eternity, was laughing with God. He was laughing and rejoicing with God, but he lost it. He lost the smile of God. He utterly lost it so that we could have it. That's the reason why George Herbert has that wonderful poem where Jesus is looking down from the cross. Remember how that line goes? Now physician heal thyself, now come down, alas I did so when I left my crown and father's smile for you to feel his frown. He felt the father's frown so you could have the laughter, so you could laugh. And how do you know you're a Christian? Here's how you know you're a Christian. If you're a religious person and someone comes up to you and says, are you a Christian? What you're going to say is, what do you mean am I a Christian? Something wrong with me? How dare you ask such a thing? There's no sense of humor about it. But if you want to know, why? Because you're relying completely on your subscription to the doctrine to so on. But if you want to know what a Christian sounds like in your heart all the time, look at Sarah. Ask a real Christian, are you a Christian and what will the real Christian say? Who would have thought that I would be a Christian, yet I am. This is the reason why God could actually name her child Isaac, which laughter, which was the sign of her greatest failure. She laughed at God. How is she redeeming that terrible memory? Not the way we do it in the world today, which is try your best to forget it. No. If you know you're saved by grace and not by works, not by your effort, not by your achievement only because of Jesus Christ losing the laughter of God, taking the eternal justice, the frown of God, that means that memories of your past failures are redeemed. God turns them to gold through the gospel. They become humility in you. They become compassion in you. They become wisdom in you. They become skill in you. That's how you face your past, with the laughter of God. Nothing can wipe this smile off your face, nothing, not a thing, not a thing. And as you look at the future, nothing can either because whenever you start to really weep, Jesus wept. That's okay. But when you find yourself in despair, you have to say, what am I delighting in more than the one who lost the laughter of the Father so that I could have it? What is my Isaac? What do I have to demote? What do I have to demote and revel more in Jesus than this so that my laughter will come back? Do you understand that? Do you see that? There's a place in Isaiah 51 where it says, look to the rock, to Abraham and look to the rock from which you were hewn to Sarah your mother. Have you seen all the pointers, how you can meet him, how you can know him, how you can find him, they're all there. Let us love and sing and wonder. Let us praise the Savior's name. He has hushed the law's loud thunder. He has quenched Mount Sinai's flame. Let's pray. Our Father, we ask that as we give ourselves to you, you would give yourself to us by opening our hearts to how we can hear the laughter of grace in Jesus Christ, the true Isaac. That's what we need more than anything else. Give it to us. Show us the way. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen. Thanks for listening to Tim Keller on the Gospel on Life podcast. If you were encouraged by today's teaching, we invite you to consider becoming a Gospel on Life monthly partner. Your partnership helps more people discover the transformative power of Christ's love through this ministry. Just visit GospelonLife.com slash partner to learn more. This month's sermons were recorded in 1997 and 2017. The sermons and talks you hear on the Gospel on Life podcast were preached from 1989 to 2017 while Dr. Keller was senior pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church.
A highlight from Matthew: The Temptation Of Jesus Christ
"In chapter 4 of Matthew, our Savior was led out into the wilderness where He was tempted for 40 days by the devil. But what did the devil think He was going to accomplish? Did He really think He could convince Jesus to sin? And why did Jesus undergo this temptation in the first place? Those questions will be the focus of today's study. Does the Devil Think that He Can Win? Does the devil think he can win? In today's text we are considering this temptation of Jesus which occurred when Jesus goes out in the wilderness at the very outset of His ministry and the devil comes and tempts Him at least these three times over a course of some 40 days. And given the lengthy amount of time that went by and given the amount of intervals in which the devil went at Him, you have to wonder, did the devil think that one of those approaches or all of them might succeed? Did the devil think that he could be victorious? Did the devil think that he could win? It probably depends on how you define winning. If the question is, does the devil think he can win? It probably depends on how you define winning. You see, we tend to define winning, especially when it's mono e mono or one force against another force. We tend to define it in, I guess, I don't know, wrestling terms. Two men enter and one man leaves sort of thing. Whoever is the last man standing is the one who wins. When we think of this sort of conflict with these sort of stakes, we think that he who is standing at the end of it is victorious. Now, under that definition, if you think long term, we think that only God will be victorious at the end of days. We see the devil cast into the pit of fire and we say there's only going to be one standing, only one standing, that will be God Himself because He's bigger and stronger and more powerful and transcendent and all these things. Well, here's the thing. I don't think the devil defines winning the way we might. I don't think the devil believes that he can out muscle God. I really don't. I don't think that's something he believes is an option. He's going to out muscle God. However, however, he may have thought this. He may have thought that although he might not be able to out muscle God, he may have thought that he could at least become equal to God. Maybe he thought that he could at least share the stage with God. In fact, I can prove it. Isaiah chapter 14, we read this, how you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, how you're falling from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning, how you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations. For you have said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven. I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mountain of the congregation on the farthest sides of the earth. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the most high. I don't think the devil thinks that he can make God subordinate to him, but I do think that in his perverted sinful mind, he thinks that he and God can be equals. In fact, he's always had a complex with that. And Isaiah 14, he says, I can ascend. I can be like the most high. He overtly says that. And God says, no, and that's why you're being judged the pride that you think you could do that. But what was the temptation to Eve? He comes up to Eve and he offers the same idea. Eve from the tree, what will happen? You'll be like God, knowing good and evil. I think the devil has a complex about this, the idea of being like God. Now, how could that equality occur? Is it possible? Well, we know, no, it's not. But theoretically, how could that sort of equality occur? Can the devil ever rank up, you know, perk up, rise up to God's level? Can he ever do that? Can the devil ever graduate and become the level that God's at in terms of power and authority and might? Well, probably not. However, maybe the objective of the devil isn't necessarily that he's going to rank up to God's level. Maybe, maybe the objective is to bring God down to his. And that's how the equality would be attained. When a child rebels against a parent, the objective isn't necessarily that I'm going to overthrow my parents. They know that's not an option. But if a child can make the parent frustrated, if a child can make the parent break ranks from their previous attitudes, if a child can make a parent sin, then what happens? Well, then we're both wrong. Sometimes children in sin are just looking to get their parents to that point of anger and heat and temper where they do something wrong. And what is the net effect of that? It brings the parent down to their level, right? We're both wrong. There's an equality that could perhaps be attained if you can take the parent down to your level as a child. Well, what do you think's going on here in the wilderness? The devil's tempting Jesus to do what? To sin. And what would be the outcome of that? Well, suddenly, suddenly then, the differences between the devil and Jesus are just a matter of degree and not of nature. It's very possible. I can't say this dogmatically because I don't know what dogmatically, but it's very possible that that's the objective. To somehow even the playing field to be like God, if I can't rise up to His level, maybe I can break Him. Whatever the case, the objective here clearly is that the devil wants Jesus here to do that which He shouldn't do, to give in the temptation of the human flesh. And as we're going to see in the text, Jesus won't fall for it. All right, let's expand on this now. Let's look at verses one and two and then just work our way through this short passage. Verses one and two. Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. This is not an accident. This is intentional. God sends him there. The Spirit leads him there. And when He had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, which is a significant number, afterward He was hungry because He was a man of flesh and blood, just as He was fully God, He was also fully man. All right. As we said a few moments ago, this passage occurs at the outset of Christ's ministry, really at the start. It's right after He was baptized and before He recruits His disciples, which will occur later on in this same chapter. Now, verse one suggests that the Spirit, remember, had come down as a dove at Christ's baptism and lighted upon Him. The same Spirit drives Him out after the baptism. After God has said, this is my Son in whom I am well pleased, He's driven out into the wilderness in order that He would be tempted, in order that He would be tested, in order that His obedience would be put to the test in the most difficult of landscapes. Now, again, at face value, you can stand back and go, well, why? I mean, I get it happened, I read it happened, but why? Why did God the Father, why did the Spirit hand deliver the Son into just the most rugged landscape on earth, which if you've ever been there or looked out upon it, it's like the moon. It's hard to describe. When you look out at this, it looks like the least desirable place you could possibly ever spend a day, let alone 40, 40 days here. So why would He go out into that environment in order to encounter the world's toughest spiritual adversary? You're sending someone in the worst circumstance, the worst environment, in order to encounter the worst adversary they'll ever face. Why? Well, let me answer that question as best I can in the shortest amount of time I can answer it. R .C. Sproul, the Presbyterian theologian, he explained it in this way, and I'm partial to this, but he says, all right, here's the first Adam, way, way, way back in the garden, was tempted by the devil, right? The devil basically asked him some variations of the same thing, or asked Eve some variation of the same things that we're seeing here, put God's word to the test, and without any hesitation, Adam and Eve, our first parents, yielded to temptation and did that which was wrong. So the first Adam messed up, and the result of the first Adam messing up is that you and I are messed up. We might not like it, but that's the way it is. We are fallen as a result of being the progeny of our parents' first sin, our federal heads first sin all these years back. So Adam messed up. Well, in Romans 5, we see that, all right, if Adam is messed up, then what do we need? Well, we need a better Adam to come along. If Adam messed up, we need a better Adam to come along and do that which is right and live up to God's standard and to pass the tests and temptations that he might face. Well, Sproul makes the case, and I agree, that the whole objective here going out in the desert is that the second Adam would do what the first Adam failed to do, be tempted and yet stand. But here's the difference. If you think about Adam and Eve, think about the garden. Was the garden a nice place? What do you think? I would think so. Based on everything we read there, it sounds pretty grand. So Adam and Eve are just in this lush garden. There's fruit on all sorts of trees. I mean, there was one tree not to eat from. Everything else was cool though, right? So there's animals and plants and flora and fauna and just good times. It's the garden of Eden. It can't be that bad. Contrast that to the wilderness here. And what you see is that one difference between the test of the first Adam and the second Adam is the environment.
A highlight from With All Confidence
"Let's turn together to the triumphal ending of the book of Acts this morning chapter 28 verse number 11 to begin with Not feeling so triumphant so the Lord's wants us to learn today that despite our feelings this this stuff is true. Amen so acts chapter 28 verse number 11 After three months we set sail in a ship that had wintered in the islands remember they were on the island of Malta a ship of Alexandria with the twin gods Castor and Pollux. These are the gods the patron gods of sailors with the twin gods as a figurehead putting in at Syracuse we stayed there for three days and From there. We made a circuits and arrived at Regium and after one day a south wind Sprang up and on the second day. We came to Puteoli there. We found brothers believers and were invited to stay with them for seven days and so we came to Rome and the brothers there when they Heard about us came as far as the forum of Appius and three taverns to meet us on seeing them Paul thanked God and took courage and When we came into Rome? Paul was allowed to stay by himself with the soldier who guarded him After three days he called together the local leaders of the Jews and when they had gathered he said to them brothers Though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our fathers Yet I was delivered as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans When they had examined me they wished to set me at liberty Because there was no reason for the death penalty in my case But because the Jews objected I was compelled to appeal to Caesar though. I had no charge to bring against my nation For this reason therefore I have asked to see you and speak with you since it is because of the hope of Israel That I am we're that I'm wearing this chain and They said to him we have received no letters from Judea about you And none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you But we desire to hear from you what your views are For with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against When they had appointed a day for him they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers From morning till evening he expounded to them Testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus from both the law of Moses and from the prophets and some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved and Disagreeing among themselves. They departed after Paul had made one statement The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet Go to this people and say you will indeed hear but never understand and you will indeed see but never perceive for this people's heart has grown dull and with their eyes they can barely With their ears, they can barely hear and their eyes their eye and their eyes they have closed lest they should see with their eyes and hear their ears and Understand with their hearts and turn and I would heal them Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles They will listen He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him Proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without Hindrance and to all these words God's people say Well Here at the end of acts we have moved from a huddled mass in Jerusalem back in chapter number one To the masses of Rome the capital city of the Roman Empire the center of the world as they saw it so from a little huddled group of 120 in that upper room in Jerusalem the day of Pentecost all the way to Rome where millions upon millions of people lived Let alone pilgrimage every single year and this is all just as Jesus promised Remember back in chapter 23 if you will when Jesus was Testifying before the Sanhedrin before the Jewish Council sometimes called the Jewish Supreme Court chapter 23 verse 11 The Apostles said the following night the Lord stood by here our looks at the following night The Lord stood by him Paul and said quote take courage for you for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem So you must testify also? where in Rome So Jesus has promised To Paul that he was going to go to Rome to testify of the gospel so he's Moved from the center of the Israelite religion in Jerusalem The temple was and now he's moved to the center of as the Romans described it the center of the world And in fact, this is this is in fulfillment of what we saw the very very beginning Of the book of Acts in chapter number one if you go back there all week the beginning verse number eight Remember Jesus promise and his call and his commission To the earliest church and he told them that they would receive power the power of the Holy Spirit who would come upon them to be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea that's the larger region Samaria.
A highlight from Missions and Evangelism 101: The "What"
"Word of God. And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. By grace you have been saved, and raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace and kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works so that no one may boast, for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Thus far the reading of God's Word, brothers and sisters in Christ, you probably know that the word gospel means good news. You, most of you probably know this. When this concept is used in the Bible, it speaks of the proclamation that whatever was wrong has now been made right. And just a very brief survey of this in the Old Testament, perhaps the most famous passage and well -known passage for the concept of the gospel is found in Isaiah 52 verse 7. It goes like this, how beautiful upon the mountains, now keep a, put a pause on that phrase right there, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who says to Zion your God reigns. It's upon the mountains. You get this picture that's there that the runner is taking his position on perhaps the tallest peak of whatever mountain is around Jerusalem and he's shouting to everybody your God reigns. In other words it's a very public thing. It's not a private thing. It has to do there with the announcement that the exiles are returned from captivity. Yay! It's a very public thing. He's got thousands of people right there right behind him or a couple hours they're gonna storm your city and it's a good thing. This is how we know that your God reigns. In the time of the New Testament it refers to a person who was designated to run or sail in front of an army that just won the battle against the enemy. And the guy would call out to the city in very similar terms, we've won! I don't know if he would fist pump or anything like that but this person who would bring good news, he was referred to in the New Testament times as an evangelist, the one who brings good news. He would bring good news of victory for the good guys, good news of defeat for the bad guys and there'd be this kind of nonverbal understanding that everybody okay if you're not a part of that city if you're not a part of that country there would be this nonverbal understanding that y 'all better get your act together right and get in line with this king who just won this victory. This message of victory would then bring confidence that you belong to the right king and he can defend you and he can fight your battles for you. I mean what a good news, what a sense of confidence that you would have in your king who just fought for you. We've been thinking about how the church heralds this gospel of Jesus Christ for a number of weeks now largely because of the Boardwalk Chapel trip and if you were here last week you kind of got a little snippet of what our students did out there. They sang the gospel, we showed a little program of a little bit of what we do there with singing of the gospel, they did skits that are based upon the gospel, you've seen how they've evangelized to me, even as I played the role of someone who they, an average person who they would normally find out in the boards and stuff like that, and how they led me to Christ. This is something of the product of what we've been meditating on for a bit now. Firstly we've seen the why of missions and evangelism. Why is it that we do missions and evangelism in the first place? We saw firstly that that it has to do with the mission itself. We also saw that it has to do with, which by the way the mission as we saw in Ephesians 1, it begins firstly primarily in the mind of God. Okay and then moving out a little bit farther we've seen this because of the mandate that that we have and the means that we have in order to do it. And then we moved on to think of the how of missions and evangelism, just how is it that this is to be done? Well we're to do it with confidence, with readiness and joy. Oh tonight we're going to be looking at the what of missions and evangelism, particularly evangelism for us. In other words okay pastor I get I get it. I get the philosophy of it. I get the theology behind it. I understand kind of the head knowledge that the conversion of the sinner is on God's terms and it's according to God's provision. It's according to his means. Okay I get I get this. And I also get the sociology. I also get the psychology of that it that I need to be confident. I need to be sure in the success of God's plan that I should be ready, that I should be joyful in doing this. Okay I get that. But what do I say? What is it that that I say or what are the basic kind of basal concepts that are in that that should be in my mind to inform me or kind of orient me towards evangelistic activity? Just what do I do? What do I say? Well that'll be on tonight's agenda. The what of missions and evangelism. And there's many ways to do this, many programs available. I suppose you could get kind of just pick one that suits you best. But what we'll be doing just tonight is to survey the most basic, the three most basic concepts that should be on your mind in the work of evangelism particularly. Firstly as it is written in your bulletin, the power of the law. Secondly the problem of the heart. And then thirdly the provision of the gospel. And to start our first point I want us I want to emphasize something to you. Take a look again at Ephesians chapter 2. I want to overemphasize this to you that Ephesians chapter 2 is my personal go -to location for whenever I share the gospel or whenever I have to think about something with a gospel lens. Ephesians 2 is my go -to. This is perhaps my number one passage that I most often go to for all things gospel related. So if you want to put a star on this page or perhaps put a perpetual bookmark here or whatever you will be very well served in knowing this passage, knowing the address of this passage. I've turned to this passage many times on many occasions with all manner of people coming from all kinds of backgrounds. Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Muslims, so -called progressive Christians, many many others. I found that this passage at least for me most sufficiently expresses the end the essence of the gospel. I've also found that it handles a lot of errors and misunderstandings about the gospel as well. We can say that Ephesians chapter 2, this passage that we just read out of just a second ago, gives us a fulsome and yet digestible survey of the entirety of the Christian experience which makes this passage fit the book of Ephesians rather well actually might I say. It fits the book of Ephesians as a whole very very well. This book, mind you, doesn't have a specified reason for it being written. It's about the basics of the Christian life and our unity with with Christ, our union with Christ, and our unity with one another. And so this passage fits this book very well. So all that to say that I highly commend to you this passage for your reference. There's other passages like this but please have this very passage for your quick reference memory. But for the power of the law, we're looking at the power of the law right now, we come to Ephesians chapter 2 verse 1, our passage which says, and you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. Well the first order of business in terms of the what of evangelism, at least when I do it, is the exposure of a life that's lived in defiance of God. You got to expose, we got to expose a life that is lived in defiance of God. In other words, we start with what's most obvious, that there are trespasses and sins in which the unconverted currently walk and by which they are characterized. They're known in the Bible as those who commit trespasses, those who commit sins. Now the technical difference, mind you, between trespasses and sins is something of the knowledge and their wilfulness. A sin in the Bible is a missing of a target, that's what a sin is. It's when someone tries to do the right thing but can't quite get there because of some default, they fall short of what they're supposed to do, they fall short of the glory of God, they fall short of what they're striving for, it's a missing of the target. A trespass on the other hand is an overstepping of a known boundary, it's an overstepping of a known boundary. It's an awareness that something is right and yet they want to do whatever is opposed to it anyways and they end up doing that. In short, technically, sins are when people don't do what they're supposed to do and trespasses are when people do what they're not supposed to do. Now the authors of the Bible don't always bring this distinction out all the time, mainly because they're making other points. I'm thinking of 1st John 3 verse 4. John there says sin is transgression of the law, he doesn't make that distinction as apparent right there as Paul does in this this passage. He's making another point in that very passage but here in our passage Paul highlights the relationship between the two. Now the big question that underlies this very passage is the question, what determines sin? What determines sin? How do you know what constitutes a transgression? And this is where the power of the law comes in really handy. Just as in verse 2 you see you're following the course of this of this world, the spirit is now at work and the sons of disobedience. Just as disobedience can only rightly be demarcated by whatever obedience looks like, sins can only be known in reference to the law of God, specifically in the Ten Commandments. Okay, sins can only be known in reference to the law of God, particularly in the Ten Commandments. So what we have here is that any lack of conformity unto or transgression of the law means that something is sinful. And so how do you apply this to evangelism? Well we start with the power of the law that exposes sin. Usually I say something like this to someone, have you ever lied? It's a very cut -and -dry sort of question, have you both have told lies before? Okay, have you ever hated someone? Matthew chapter 2 chapter 5 verse 22, Jesus says that if you've hated anyone, as a matter of fact if you've even called them a fool, you've committed murder in the eyes of God. So we've lied, we've also committed murder in God's eyes. Have you ever used God's name in vain? God calls that blasphemy, right? So we've lied, even if it's a if the of use the name of God as something that's a throwaway statement. That's tantamount to blasphemy. It's taking the name of God in vain in the Hebrew literally means as though it were nothing. It were a thing of vanity. It's just like anything else. So using the name of God as a throwaway term, which our culture is very, it's a very popular thing to do nowadays, that's the essence of breaking that commandment to take the name of God, to not take the name of God in vain. That's called blasphemy. So we've lied, we've murdered, we've committed blasphemy in God's eyes, and we could keep going I suppose in order to show that we've done all manner of things according to the Ten Commandments. We've committed adultery, we've coveted, we violated the Sabbath, we've dishonored our parents and so on. The law of God is able to expose sins for exactly what they are. Now this is a tactic that I do. I kind of hang out there for a little bit, okay. I kind of hang out there for a little bit in order to drive the sentence of guilt to their hearts from the from the mouth of God himself, from the very law of God. I kind of hang out there in order so that they they know they come into personal contact with the sins that they've committed. So the law therefore is a base indicator that kind of equalizes everyone out and determines that all people everywhere have sinned, all people everywhere have transgressed the law of God, and all people everywhere are in need of grace and mercy. This is where you start with the power of the law. Secondly we move on to the next related point, the problem of the heart. Verse 3, here we see something of a progression of sorts. It continues from the previous verse where we read of the sons of disobedience, among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath like the rest of mankind. In the last couple of verses that that we considered understand we that the law of God has the ability to call sin exactly what it is. The law of God has the power to call sin, sin. Therefore we know that our actions are sinful in some way. In other words we've either not lived up to the commands of God or we've willfully broken it. However I want you to see that there's a progression here in that verse 3 diagnoses the reason why we've acted in disobedience it's because it's what comes most natural to us. And the reason why it's most natural to us is because there is a problem with our hearts. That's the reason. There's a problem with our hearts, the innermost aspects of our being. God doesn't merely recognize us outside of Christ as quote people who commit trespasses and sins, right? Even particular ones. As much as he recognizes those outside of Christ as sinners, transgressors. In other words as Saint Augustine says we don't we're not sinners because we sin. We sin because we're sinners. Again we don't sin I'm we're sinners. In my version of it sin indicates that someone is a sinner. It's far worse to be a sinner than it is to have committed sin in God's eyes. And we can see this in our passage here. Namely that we all as the passage says once lived in the passions of our flesh. Now that doesn't mean that you know the body is a bad thing or you know to have a desire is is a bad thing or something like like that. He means when he says this this phrase he means that the passions of our flesh stand in stark contrast to the will of God. And it's the passions of our flesh that produce the transgressions and the sins in which we once walked. In other words the corruption of the heart is the very standpoint from which all actual sins take place. Most commonly we refer to this as original sin which is the problem of the heart. Original sin is the problem of the heart. That is we inherit or we are imputed with as the theological term the guilt and the corruption of Adam's first sin to us. His sin nature becomes ours by being from Adam's line under his headship. And this means that when we sin we sin out of our own sin nature. Again original sin is the position of the heart. It is the problem of the heart that all of us had which affects all aspects of all of our being. I say I usually say this that that sins are not as great as sin is. And this forms for us mind you one of the strongest standpoints that again flattens the whole of humanity out so that every single one of us are in one box. Makes really it makes things very convenient that sins the sins that are pointed out by the law of God indicates that we are sinners. The problem has never been any one sin. The problem has never been any one transgression that has kept us from the grace of God. It's our whole sinful nature that is itself the problem. And so long as the sin nature is there as long as verse 3 says as long as we are by nature children of identifies us as rebels and therefore we're we become worthy recipients of his wrath and curse. So how do I bring this to people? I'm glad you asked. How do we know what do we say? I begin something by saying yes if you've lied you've stolen you've blasphemed in God's eyes you've murdered you probably have done a lot more things and you've most likely done them knowing that they're wrong. You know why that is? You know why you've acted in this way? You know why you have done this? It's because that you have a heart that produces wickedness. Jesus says in Mark chapter 7 verse 21 out of the heart comes evil thoughts out of the heart comes sexual immorality theft murder adultery coveting wickedness deceit sensuality envy slander pride foolishness all these things come from within and they defile a person.
A highlight from POA5 Know your Commander and Comrades Put On The Armor A Manual for Spiritual Warfare w/Dr. Paul Thigpen Ph.D. Discerning Hears Catholic Podcasts
"Discerninghearts .com, in cooperation with TAN Books, presents Put on the Armor, A Manual for Spiritual Warfare, with Dr. Paul Thickepen. Dr. Thickepen is an internationally known speaker, bestselling author, and award -winning journalist who has published 43 books in a wide variety of genres and subjects, including The Rapture Trap, A Catholic Response to End Times Fever, and The Manual for Spiritual Warfare, the book on which this series is based. In 2008, Dr. Thickepen was appointed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to their National Advisory Council. He has served the Church as a theologian, historian, apologist, evangelist, and catechist in a number of settings, speaking frequently in Catholic and secular media broadcasts and at conferences, seminars, parish missions, and scholarly gatherings. Put on the Armor, A Manual for Spiritual Warfare, with Dr. Paul Thickepen. I'm your host, Chris McGregor. Paul, thank you again so much for joining me. Thanks for the invitation to be here, Chris. God bless you. Well, in our previous conversations, we've kind of delineated what the battle is and who the enemy and some of the different ways he and those evil spirits, essentially the diabolical spirits, can assail us. But in this particular series of conversations, we want to talk about the commanders and our comrades who are just incredible in why the victory has been won. And it's so important because it's the warfare can be intense. And you start thinking about the power that the devil has and his demons and those kinds of things. It could be easy to get terrified or intimidated. But the good news is that he's already been defeated and that our Lord, by his passion and death and resurrection, has already defeated him. And that's why St. Paul could say to the Corinthians, thanks be to God, who's given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. So that's so incredible. We would be lost without him. It would be terrible. You know, I think back to the days when my final days as an atheist and where I had begun to encounter demonic powers, but still didn't believe in God. And it shocked me out of my materialist position that all that existed was kind of what you could see in here, matter and energy. And I finally realized there are other things out there that are beyond this nature that I see around me and they're evil and they're out to eat my lunch. And, you know, came close to despair at that moment. If those things are real, I don't have a chance. And yet I realized, but, you know, the same people and the same books that told me so long ago that these things were real also said that there was a God and a Lord Jesus Christ who conquered them. I'm going to go back and read and I'm going to go back to those people and talk again. If there's a devil and there's no God, I'm really in trouble. But if there's a devil and there is God, then there's hope. And that's that's the message. There's hope because of our commander. In the manual for spiritual warfare, over and over and over again, you cite scripture passage upon scripture passage that really helps us to kind of like our Lord in the desert, just identify constantly what that is and then talk back to it in the sense that it's not our words, but it's his words. And of course, I mean with a capital H. And it is so much more powerful. There's, you know, it's one thing for us and our own words are important, too. But it's one thing for us to resist the enemy and tell him to flee or contradict what he says to us. But when we do it in the words of Jesus himself, our faith is so much greater, our confidence is so much greater that that what we say is true. And the enemy goes to accuse us and we take the words of scripture that the accuser of the brethren has been cast down. He is an accuser and he's been cast down or that in his glorious triumph he'll come with all the saints in the armies of heaven or Saint John's words, which I come to again and again. He says, you are of God, dear children, and have overcome him, the devil, because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world. And how many times have I had to say that to the enemy? The one who's in me is greater than you are. So get lost. That's right. And that's something that we always have to remember. We had those two incredible witnesses, and in so many of the writings and scriptures, but in particular of Saint Paul and Saint John, Saint Paul says, it's not I who live, but it's Christ who lives in me. And here, just as you cited in 1 John, John the Apostle tells us once again, he who is in you, he is greater than he who is in the world. Who is in us? The great commander, our Lord Jesus Christ. In the end, the enemy is only a creature. He's a very powerful one. He has powers we don't have, but he's not some God of equal power to the good God. You know, so we're not dualists. We don't believe that there's a good God and a bad God who have to fight it out through history. He's a creature who went wrong, and even though he's very powerful, God is still God. There's only one God who's omnipotent, who's all -powerful and all -knowing. And as Saint Paul says, that he will soon crush the devil beneath your feet. And that's such a powerful promise to hold on to. And you alluded to earlier as well, those armies of heaven, which consist, as Saint Paul said in the letters to the Thessalonians 1 and 2, it's with all his saints and it's with the angels. It's that beautiful reference in Revelation that talks about Christ coming back as a warrior. And I know a lot of folks aren't comfortable with that image of Christ as warrior because we just think of him as the suffering servant and the lamb of God. And all that's true, but the book of Revelation shows him not just as the lamb who was slain, but also as the conquering warrior at the end who does finally totally crush and corral all the enemies of the saints, all the evil that we're fighting against. And talks about when he comes, he comes with the armies of heaven. And so you ask, well, who would be the armies of heaven? Well, Saint Paul then comes in and he specifies that in 1 Thessalonians 3, 13, he says he will come with all his saints. And in 2 Thessalonians, he says he'll come with the angels of his power. So those are like the two great divisions, you might say, of his army, of his host. Those are the comrades we have in battle. The queen of the saints, the queen of the angels, Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, she is also referred to as the queen of humility. And yet it's in that humility that the irony of it, can we say, that she is able to crush the head of the servant. You know, I think it's important for us to see that what Our Lady did was to undo what Eve had done and to undo what the devil had done. How did the devil fall? Through his own pride. You know, we get in the book of Isaiah, the words that I will ascend to the mountain of the Lord, you know, and he wanted to take God's place. And so his great pride gets undone. It gets overturned by Our Lady's humility, by, you know, his fiat was, I will rule, and her fiat was, let it be done to me according to thy word. And so her humility overturns his. And she undoes what the devil did. She unties that knot that the devil tied, so to speak. And you get that predicted, prophesied all the way back in Genesis, when the Lord speaks to the serpent, who, of course, represents the devil, says, I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed. He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heel. And that's why, of course, we have all these wonderful images of Our Lady, not just with the crown of stars above her head and the moon beneath her feet, as we get the image in the book of Revelation, but also with the head of the serpent crushed underneath her heel. Because though Jesus did the direct battle, she, by her fiat, by her agreement with the Lord, yes, of course, do what you want and I will bear your son. By that fiat, she also took part in that crushing of the serpent's head. And Eve gave a yes to the enemy's temptation and brought death and the devil's domination to the world. But Mary's yes to God instead of the enemy opened the door for the ultimate victory of her son over Satan. That's why we call her the new Eve. By her obedience to God, she undid what the first Eve had done by her disobedience. Well, one of the great saints that you mentioned here is not only a doctor of the church, but a loyal son of St. Francis, that St. Bonaventure, who writes so very strongly that, and he was a brilliant, brilliant, intelligent man, but even he had to acknowledge that men do not fear a powerful, hostile army as much as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary. And we get that, you know, it's not just a speculation. There's all kinds of experience of that and exorcisms. A recent exorcist who talks about how an enemy, a demon, was protesting over the praying of a Hail Mary and saying every time, I'm paraphrasing, but every time you say that Hail Mary, it's like a hammer hitting my head. They have such a hatred for Our Lady, and they know that she's overcome them. She's the Queen of Angels, and as I say in one of my prayers in here, she's the Queen of Angels, and she's the bane of devils. They fear her and they tremble before her. Her name is terrible and powerful, it's the name of Jesus. Well, to them particularly, it's so beautiful that in the Manual for Spiritual Warfare, you have a whole section on prayers to Our Lady.
A highlight from The Light of the World
"Next year, the Summer Olympic Games will be held in Paris, but before they begin, there is a race or maybe just a relay where the Olympic torch is lit and carried all throughout France, going from city to city until it ends up in Paris, where it lights the big Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony. Maybe some of you have seen this on TV in the past, but it's a several month event. As this begins, it actually starts in Olympia, Greece, and then will end where the Olympics begin. Well, the passage we will look at tonight tells us that we as Christians are a lot like those runners carrying the torch, but the torch we carry is the light of the gospel and the land that we are to run in is the entire world. And the event that we are ushering in is not the Olympics, but it's the second and final coming of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. So with this in mind, please turn with me to Matthew chapter 5, specifically verses 14 through 16. Matthew 5 verses 14 through 16, where Jesus says, you are the light of the world, a city set on a hill cannot be hidden, nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven. Well, I want us to take a deeper look at this passage by examining it under three points. First our calling explained in the first part of verse 14. Secondly our calling illustrated in the second part of verse 14 through verse 15. And then thirdly, our calling applied verse 16. Then I'd like to make four uses of this passage, but let's pray together one more time and then we will begin. Heavenly Father, we thank you for the light of Jesus Christ. We thank you for the light of your word. We thank you for the light of your grace. We pray that all of these things would shine upon us now. Give us understanding in the word of God, enlighten our hearts and our minds to what Jesus says to us here in this passage. We ask in Jesus name, Amen. Well, first, our calling explained in the first part of verse 14. Jesus has just told the disciples that they are the salt of the earth. Now he switches to another metaphor, which describes the identity and calling of his disciples in another way when he says you are the light of the world. Now, what does Jesus mean by this description? Well, first, let's consider the light. Light in the Bible is almost always associated with God. He's the creator and dispenser of physical light. Just think about Genesis Chapter one there, we read about how God speaks light into existence and then he makes the sun and the moon and the stars to give light on the earth. But God is also the creator and dispenser of spiritual light. Throughout the Bible, the term light takes on a figurative meaning and it refers to the blessings that God bestows on mankind. So he is the spiritual light source that shines down his blessings of mercy and grace and truth and salvation and life and glory on us. Now, this is especially true of Jesus Christ. Some of his titles include the light of the world, a light for the nations, the bright morning star, the lamp of the New Jerusalem, the day spring from on high and the sun of righteousness. And for those of us who are Christians, the Lord Jesus Christ has shown in our hearts the light of the gospel. Christ has taught us the way of salvation. He has poured out on us his saving grace. He has given us eternal life. He has opened our eyes to see his glory. He has shined spiritual light upon us. So Christ has put his light within us, in our hearts, in our souls, in our church, and now we're considered light in the Lord, not light in and of ourselves, but we're light in the Lord. We're not the spiritual light source, but we are reflectors of that light. We're mediators of that light. We are those who are to shine forth the light and blessings of Jesus Christ to the whole world. So that's the light. But let's also considered the part of the phrase of the world. World here, I think, means Earth, like the previous description. We are the salt of the Earth, not referring to the physical ground, but referring to the peoples and the communities and the societies of the world. But implied in this description of us is, I think, the natural condition and state of the world. If we are called the light of the world. Or the light that shines on the world. What does this mean about the world? What means that the world needs light? If we're the light of the world, the world needs our light. It means that by nature, the world is shrouded in darkness. But not physical darkness, moral and spiritual darkness. Natural man is in the dark. He is completely lost. He is ignorant of the way of salvation. He is enslaved to his sins. He is living in the shadow of death. He is ruled over by the devil and he is under the curse and wrath of God. But this is where we come in as the church, we are the light of the world, and for lights to be useful, they have to shine. They have to emit light, and it is our calling and our duty as little lights to shine forth the big light of Christ on this spiritually dark world. Now, this is the very point that Jesus makes in the next part of this passage. So let's now look at our calling illustrated. Jesus illustrates what it looks like for us to be the light of the world, and he does so in the second half of verse 14 and in verse 15. And there he tells us that we are like a shining city set upon a hill. And secondly, we are like a bright light set on a stand within a house. So let's look at those two illustrations separately. First, we're considered a shining city in the second part of verse 14. Some have likened America to the shining city upon a hill. It wasn't just Ronald Reagan who said that. There's others who have said that in the past. But this is not what Jesus says here. He doesn't say America is the shining city set upon the hill. He says that his disciples or his church or his spiritual nation is like a city set on a hill, and for good or for ill, this city cannot be hidden from people's eyes. We're city set on a hill, and I think this is one place where the eschatological promises of the Old Testament find their fulfillment in the New Testament. What do I mean by that? Well, throughout the prophets, it was prophesied, especially in Isaiah and Micah, that Zion, the city of the living God, would one day be set on the highest mountain for all the nations to see and flock to. Read about in Isaiah two and Micah chapter four. And there the nations would learn the ways of God and they would walk in the light of the Lord. Well, I think Jesus here is telling us that the church is the fulfillment of all of those prophecies, that the church is Zion, the city of the living God. The church is set on the highest of hills and the greatest of mountains. The church has the place of prominence and preeminence in this world. And that's God's doing. God has exalted the church to this highest position on earth. But why has he done so? He's done so, so that all the nations and all the kingdoms and all the societies on earth might see our light shine so the nations would flock into the city of God and learn of his ways and walk in his light. So a city like this cannot operate incognito. It will attract the attention of the world. People will either see it and run to it as a place of instruction and refuge and salvation, or they will see it and charge at it and fight against it as an enemy fortress. But either way, the church, as the exalted city of God, is to shed the light of Jesus Christ upon this dark world. So we're like a city set on a hill for all to see. Secondly, we're considered a bright lamp in verse 15. Here, Jesus moves on to another illustration of the church as the light of the world. And he says this, nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house. Well, this is pretty self -explanatory and nobody lights a light or turns on a light in order to simply cover it up and hide it. Why do we light a light in a house? Why do we turn these lights on in the church building so that it might shed light upon everybody who's in that place? Well, this is the church. We are a lot like the lampstand put in the house of God in the Old Testament. Remember, there is a lampstand that was to be put in the inner sanctuary. One of its purposes was to light up that entire sanctuary so that the priest could do their work in the tabernacle and in the temple. So they were to do the work in the house of God in order for them to do that. That lampstand had to be burning day and night. Well, brethren, we're a lot like that. Except we don't serve in one tiny little house of God. We serve in the cosmic house and temple of God. And as that bright, burning lampstand, we are to shine light upon all of those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. So that's our calling illustrated. So Jesus has told us here we are the light of the world. He says that looks like a shining city on a hill. It also looks like a bright lamp in a house. But then in verse 16, he makes a very specific application of these truths to his disciples and to us. He exhorts us in these words in the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven. Just like the shining city set on a hill and just like the bright lamp set on a stand, we, as the Church of the Lord Jesus, must not hide our light. We must not cover up our light. We must not disguise our light, but we must shine our light on all the peoples of the world. Jesus tells us here what the purpose or the end goal of this shining our light is, he says, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven. I think here Jesus tells us the kind of light that we are to shed or shine upon the world. It's the light of our good works, or we could say our beautiful works. People are to see our good works and not just some of them, but they're to see all of them, the good work of confessing the lordship of Christ, the good work of obeying the commandments of Christ, the good work of proclaiming the gospel of Christ, the good work of loving other Christians, the good work of cooperating with other churches, the good work of fighting against our sin, the good work of submitting to those over us in the Lord, the good work of taking care of our families, the good work of helping the poor and the needy, the good work of raising our children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, and the good work of loving and praying for our enemies. The list could go on and on and on about good works, but Jesus does not limit these things or qualify them. He speaks in generalities here about the good work of the church and both proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and living out that faith, that profession before a watching world. The point is we are to show the world the beauty, the honor, the value, the glory of the Christian life by our words and our actions. And this should have a practical effect upon the world. It's not to lead to our praise and glory. It's not so that people would pat us on the back and congratulate us and tell us what good moral people that we are. Of course, the Pharisees did all of these sort of things. They did their good works before the eyes of men so that people would praise them. But we are to have a totally opposite motive. And Jesus tells us what our motive should be here. It's not for us, but it's for God. God's the one who has ordained our good works. God is the one who works these good works in us. Therefore, God is the one to get all the glory for our good works. As one commentator says, we are to shine our light and do good works, not to win praise from men, but to win men to praise and glorify our heavenly Father. Our desire is not glory. Our desire is for that glory to go to God. And the apostle Peter says something very similar in First Peter two, verse 12. He says, Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. So that's our calling explained, our calling illustrated, our calling applied. But I want to touch on four things in this passage that call us to do something with this passage before we end. So first, there is a call to worship in this passage. Jesus calls us here the light of the world, but we have not always been the light of the world. Before the Lord saved us, what were we? Well, we were part of the world. We were part of this dark, evil, depraved, wretched, lost, ignorant world. Our minds were darkened, our eyes were blinded, our hearts were dead to God. We were not just in the darkness, but the Bible says that we were darkness. It was us by nature. We were called darkness. But God had mercy on us. God called us out of the darkness into his marvelous light, and now we are called sons of light, children of light, children of the day who belong to the day, saints in the kingdom of light, light in the Lord, and here the light of the world. So, brethren, we should work hard to win people to praise and honor and glorify our God. But first and foremost, we should praise and honor and glorify our God for calling us out of the darkness into his marvelous light. We should glory in our God for shining the great light of the gospel on us and turning our darkness to light. So there is implicitly here a call for us to worship God, to glorify him ourselves for the work that he has done for us and the calling he has placed upon our lives. So there's a call to worship in this passage. But secondly, there is a call to action in this passage. We are called the light of the world. But that means that we are to be light to the world. We are to let our light shine before others. That's what Jesus tells us, and not as some sort of star in a faraway galaxy that has little to no impact upon this earth. But we are to shine like the blazing sun in all of its glory to give sight, to give life, to give warmth to this cold, dead world. Our Lord and Savior has given us a commission to continue the work that he began in his earthly ministry. And that commission is to carry the gospel torch to the nations, to instruct them in a way of salvation and to model for them a new way of life. So think back to the illustrations that Jesus uses to tell us what we should be doing as the light of the world. But what he is telling us is just as it is inconceivable. That a city built on a hill would be hidden from the public, and just as it is inconceivable that a lamp in a house would be covered up to all in that house. So it is inconceivable that the church would be a secret society closed off to the world. So, brethren, let us constantly and continually remind ourselves of our calling in this world. We are not called to be monks who are shut up in a monastery. We are not called to be scholars who are retired to our studies. We are not called to be introverts who withdraw from the public. We are not called to be spies dressed up in a disguise, but we are called to be the light of the world and to let that light shine. So let us then seek to burn as brightly as we can for as long as we can for the glory of our Savior Jesus Christ and for the eternal good of our fellow man. So there's a call to action. We are the light of the world. That means we are to be light to this world. But third, there is a call to be encouraged in this passage. It's easy to think that we as Christians have little to no positive impact upon this world, especially as we see it getting worse and worse and worse. We can really become pessimistic. Really down in the dumps, really discouraged about our role and our calling in this world, but this passage gives us great encouragement to let our light shine, because Jesus says here that by the way we live our lives, we can actually cause others to give glory to God. We can cause others to give glory to God. Our good works can cause opponents of the gospel to give glory to God by shaming them and shutting their mouths and giving them no reasons to speak evil about the Christian faith. God gets glory for that. They can cause the general masses of people to give glory to God by making them fear God and be of all in all of God for his power at work in us. They can cause other brothers and sisters in Christ to give glory to God by causing them to give thanks to God for our labors of love, and they can cause sinners to give glory to God by leading them to confess with their own mouths that Jesus Christ is Lord and to call upon his name for salvation. So the encouragement is, brethren, your good works matter. Your conduct at home and in the office and at the ball field and in the restaurant and at the park and at family get togethers and at church and on the Lord's day. It matters. It can make a difference. By God's grace, you can have a part in changing the world and leading people to hallow God in their hearts and praise him with their lips. Your good works can beautify this ugly world. Your good works can enlighten this dark world. Your good works can preserve this decaying world. Your good works can add value to this vain world. So please never forget this. Always be encouraged by the words of our savior here to let your light shine before others so that they may glorify our father who is in heaven. But lastly, there is a gospel call in this passage. For anyone here this evening who is still living in the darkness of their sin, there is a gospel ray of hope in this passage that you need to run to. The church is the small L light of the world, but the Lord Jesus Christ is the big L light of the world. Christians can't save you, but what we can do is point you to the one who can. So Jesus is the light of the world and dear sinner, Jesus can rescue you from the darkness and he can bring you into his marvelous light. He is the light of the world who can give you eternal life. He is the son of righteousness who can bring you spiritual healing and joy. He is the day spring from on high who can guide your feet into the way of peace. And he is the bright morning star who can usher in an era of grace and salvation in your life that will last forever. So if you are still in the darkness, if you're still of the world, there is hope for you. Come and believe and follow the Lord Jesus Christ. And the Bible says you will never again walk in darkness because the Lord Jesus will give you the light of life. Amen. Let's pray together. Heavenly Father, help us to consider the words that our Savior has spoken to us to be the light of the world. Give us grace to shine forth pure rays full of holiness and love and kindness to this world that is shrouded in darkness. Please help us to fulfill this calling, this great commission to preach the gospel of Christ, to preach light to the nations and help us, O Lord, to reflect the light and glory of Christ in our very lives. Bless us as a church. Help us to be salt and light. May these callings be ever present in our minds and hearts every day of our lives. Give us grace, we pray in Jesus name. Amen.
A highlight from Walk as Children of Light
"Sing to the Lord. Do it in the assembly. When you come to worship on Sunday morning, do it in the corporate worship service. When you're just hidden in the crowd on Sunday evening, and that's why we sing all the Psalms here, the Psalms of joy, the Psalms of sorrow. Pour out your heart to the Lord in song. A third speech act that also will stir the spirit in you. Verse 20, he says, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now notice the absolutes that he uses here when he says this in verse 20. He says, always give thanks to God. If you've had a mom and dad, what do they always do when someone gave you a gift, when did something kind, served you food? They tried to teach you to say, thank you. And our lives are filled with God doing things. If we could just stir our minds a little bit where we could say to him, thank you. Giving thanks to God. And he says, give thanks always. He says, give thanks to God for all things. Now that's hard, but it's possible. When times are sunny, thank God. When times are dark, thank God. You'll remember Job, fabulous example for us. Job in response to losing everything. He lost his job. He lost his income. He lost his home. He lost his children. He lost his health. And then what did he say? He gave thanks. The Lord gives, the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. When the days are evil, we easily can just spiral down within ourselves into morbid introspection. We can get sucked into doubt and despair, swallowed up inside ourselves in self -pity. These three speech acts, these three speech acts will pull your focus outside of yourself, outward to other people, upward to God. And these outward acts will keep you from being sucked into the inner darkness of your own heart, your own pain. We need the community, the community of God's people. We speak to them. We need them to speak to us. We need times of gathering together for worship where we can sing and where we can thank God together. But sometimes it goes on for a very long time. Sometimes the days become overwhelmingly bad, evil, too many bad things. It's just like they're flooding in through the windows and the doors. Too many, too many good things get lost or broken beyond repair. It could be your son, it could be your daughter, it could be your health, it could be your sin. And then you recognize, you start to sense, I'm not doing well. You start to sense that I'm not resisting the temptations as they come up. You start to sense that you're not handling your trouble well. The days are dark and your light is not shining. Your light has run out of batteries and you feel guilty about it. You feel shame for it. You feel like a failure and you're confused. Where's God gone? Where is he? Well, these are some of your psalms maybe. Psalm 31, 22, I am cut off from before your eyes. Psalm 42, six, oh my God, my soul is cast down within me. Deep calls unto deep at the noise of your waterfalls. All of your waves and breakers have knocked me over. What will enable you to keep looking for light when everything around you is just getting darker if it was even possible? You need a light in the darkness. And this is our Jesus. Jesus is the one who went through ultimate and total darkness. It was physical darkness and it was spiritual darkness, physical darkness. When Jesus hung on the cross, literally the skies blackened for hours, but not just physical darkness. He went through spiritual darkness. When Jesus hung on the cross, it felt like God had turned away from him and God did turn his face away. And in that darkness, in the dereliction of his soul, Jesus never stopped looking up. Jesus didn't turn his face from God. Jesus in the darkness kept looking up to God. That question, why have you forsaken me? That was upward, outward. He was looking to God even in that confused cry. And in the gospel, Jesus is the light which shone in the darkness. John one, in him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it. This is our lot in this fallen world. Sin, misery, and into this dark world, this darkness, Jesus entered and shines. Isaiah nine, two, the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them, a light has shined. John one, nine, Jesus is the true light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world and the world was made through him and the world did not know him. In the gospel, Jesus hung in darkness so that we who believe could be brought into his marvelous light. And when you believe and when you receive Jesus as the light of the world, he changes you. He will remove your darkened heart. He'll take that away from you and give you a living heart. And when you are scared and when you are in the dark, he will always come to you.
A highlight from Matthew: The Baptism Of Jesus Christ
"The very last book in the Old Testament, the very last book, the book of Malachi, literally the last four or five verses, it says this. It says, Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Behold, this is the last verses in the whole Old Testament. Behold, Elijah is coming, or at least his spiritual successor. I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the day of the Lord, the great and dreadful day of the Lord, and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children of the fathers, lest they come to strike the earth with a curse. The last verses in the Old Testament said keep on the lookout, keep on the lookout. There's one coming, and when he comes, he's going to prepare the way, which is what Isaiah said, too. I'm going to send one, one from the wilderness is going to come to prepare the way for the Lord, to prepare the way for the king, which is something they had to do back in the days. Literally, if the king was going to visit, they had to clear the street and the paths and the like so that the carts or the chairs or whatnot could get down without any issues. Whatever the case is, Elijah was anticipated from centuries past to return, and he returns in the form of John the Baptist as the spiritual successor. Now, what was John doing before we look at verses 13 and 14, before we move into the text, really? What is he doing? Well, we know he's baptizing. He's baptizing individuals here. So what kind of baptism is this? Did they have baptism in the Old Testament? Did they have it? Well, yes, but it was different. They had something called proselyte baptism. Let's say that you're a Moabite, and you say, you know, I really like Israel. I like the food and the culture, and I love their God. Their God seems so much better than the gods we got over here. I think I would like to become Jewish. I'd like to convert. So what was the process for that? Well, the process was baptism. It was called proselyte baptism. If someone from another culture wanted to convert into Judaism, and God was pleased to pull from the nations. If you're a Gentile here this morning, you're an example of this. God was pleased to pull from the nations, and when they pulled from the nations, when people converted, so to speak, to Judaism, the principal action that they undertook was to be baptized or washed as a sign, as a type, of washing away their pagan beliefs and their wicked ways and the like. So they did have something called baptism, but it wasn't baptism in the sense that we might understand it. It was for new converts. Well, this is not what's going on here. John is baptizing Jews. See, this is different. Now, some people say, well, what's going on is ceremonial washings. If you look in the Old Testament, they were washing all the time, which I guess if I lived in the desert, I'd probably want to do that, too. They were trying to wash, and some of it was probably just for the obvious reasons of getting clean, and then other reasons were ceremonial. If you were a priest, and, you know, before you put on your tall, pointy hat, and you did your priestly duties, you might consecrate yourself and wash yourself. So they had ceremonial washings throughout the Old Testament, but that's not what this is either. It's not a baptism of converts, and it's not ceremonial washings. It's something different, and it's something new. So what is it? Let's look. Let's look at verses 13 and 14 now, and I'll work our way through that smaller balance of verses, and we'll try to come away with a better understanding of what baptism is and why Jesus, of all people, underwent it. Verse 13, that Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him, and John tried to prevent him, saying, I need to be baptized by you, and are you coming to me? All right. As verse 13 begins, there's a reference to two very distinct geographical locations. Now, when we read these terms, we just lump them all in together. He went from Galilee to the Jordan. When I first used to read that text, I don't know if that was like four blocks away. I didn't know how to picture this. Having actually been there, I have some understanding, and it couldn't be more stark where Jesus came from to where he was going. He went from Galilee, the Sea of Galilee, and everything around the sea is lush and green and there's rolling hillsides, and it's just beautiful. Whatever you picture to be the land of milk and honey, that's what Galilee is. However, that's not where John was. John was way down to the south. John was to the southeast -ish of Jerusalem out towards the Dead Sea, and it has earned its name. This area is not an area that is attractive. It is not lush. It is not green. There's no milk. There's no honey. This is not the area that you would take vacations to. It's not an area you would otherwise go, and yet all these people were going there because that's where John was. The spiritual successor of Elijah came out of the wilderness, Elijah the Tishbite. Here we have John the Baptist, and God has evidently laid a prophetic mantle upon him. Everyone's coming to where he's at, even though otherwise it wouldn't be in a big hurry to go there. Well, Jesus goes there too. He goes from Galilee from where it's lush, and he travels, what was a number of days at the least, down to Jordan, down towards near Jericho. Now, why? Why did he do this? Well, we see the answer in verse 13. He comes to be baptized. Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized. Now, as we said before, we have to stop and we have to camp out here for a moment. Jesus. Who is Jesus? It starts with a G. He's God. So Jesus is God in the flesh, God incarnate, Son of God, one of the members of the Trinity. If you look at Jesus, you're looking at God, right? So here we see that God wants to come down and be baptized by a fallen man, that God wants to be baptized. What's going on here? Now, if you looked around the rest of the crowd, if you looked at everyone else all milling around, they all needed to be baptized. They needed to be washed clean, and not only be washed clean, but they needed to act accordingly in the days yet to come because their past was filthy and sin -ridden. Everyone there had sins. Even John the Baptist had sinned. And so Jesus comes to him, and to John, it's like, it does not compute. This doesn't make sense why you are doing this. And so he responds and tells Jesus, we're not doing it. I must have misheard you. We're not doing that. You don't need to be baptized by me, but clearly I need to be baptized by you. Now, did John know who Jesus was? I think there's plenty of reason to suspect that. He at least knew him as a cousin. Did he know him as the Messiah? I think the answer to that is clear. I think if you look at Luke, Mary and Elizabeth, they were cousins. Mary and Elizabeth were pregnant at the same time, and Mary goes to visit Elizabeth, and Elizabeth is pregnant. The child's a little more advanced in months, but they're both pregnant. And what does the child in Elizabeth's womb, what does John the Baptist in the womb do just at the proximity to Jesus? He leaps, jumps for joy. I can't imagine that's a lot of fun for the mother, but whatever the case is, there's movement, there's jumping, there's leaping, there's joy. Somehow, in some way, just by the mere proximity to the Messiah, John the Baptist understood, or at least by his nature, reacted to the proximity to this one. Beyond that, he identifies even in this text that one is coming, that I'm not even worthy to tie his sandals. Later, when he sees on the river, he says, Behold, the Lamb of God comes to take away the sin of the world. There's every reason to believe. He knows exactly who this Jesus was. So Jesus approaches him here, and the one who he identifies as the Messiah says, I need you to baptize me. So John, of course, tries to decline that. Jesus will have none of it. Let's look at verse 15. But Jesus answered and said to him, Permit it to be so. In other words, let's do it. Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.
A highlight from Who Will Go?
"We have been on the topic of missions for about a month now. We started this topic on missions, building a solid foundation because if you don't have a right foundation you cannot build upon anything. The foundation for missions, that solid foundation, it's got to be God -centered. In the day and time which we live in, there is much concerning the gospel, concerning missions and many churches that are very man -centered. Their focus is upon man, their focus is upon the problem of man, and their focus is upon what man can do and what man can carry to another man to help another man and social work and all these things. Let me tell you something, the gospel must be Christ -centered. The gospel must be Christ -centered and missions must be Christ -centered. Our focus is ultimately on the glory of God and our life must be lived glorifying God in whatsoever we do. Whether therefore you eat or drink or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God. Therefore, if we are taking the gospel to a area where people have not heard the gospel, do it to the glory of God. We should have a passion for the lost. We should have a concern for people who are dying and going to hell. But let me tell you something, we should have a greater passion to live our lives for the glory of God. They do not contradict each other, what I just said. What I'm simply saying is our lives must be God -centered. This series is a call to refocus on God -centeredness and Christ -honoring and biblically -based witnessing and missions. Our church, New Life Baptist Church, must always seek to honor the Lord our God. Our church must always lift up the name of Jesus Christ. must Our church be missions -oriented but it's got to be ultimately for the glory of God. When you think about it, what was the Apostle Paul's driving force when he endured shipwrecks? You remember he was beaten with rods. I don't know how that feels. I don't want to find out how that feels. I believe it was very painstaking simply because the Apostle Paul mentioned that. He was whipped with lashings and had stripes on his back from the whips. He was stoned what seemed like to death. He laid there lifeless. When God gave him the strength, he got up and went right back into the city that had stoned him. What would cause a man to do that? You might think he was plum loco. If I got beat up, I don't think I'd be going right back to the place I got beat up. That don't make much sense, does it? It's not logical in our thinking. What drove the Apostle Paul was his hope like in going back into the city of Lystra. Hoping man might have changed his mind. That man might have made a decision. I want you to look in the book of Acts, chapter 18. I was telling Sister Janna earlier this week. I'm usually expository as far as in preaching, but when it comes to topical preaching, which is what we've been on with missions, it's a lot more in -depth and a lot more struggle for me. A lot more time -consuming. The Scripture is laid out when you're going expositionally. But when you're going topically, you're going a lot of different directions. Same direction, but a lot of different passages of Scripture. I want you to notice what the Word of God says in Acts, chapter 18 and verse 1. And after these things, Paul departed from Athens and came to Corinth and found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome and came unto them. And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them and wrought, for by their occupation they were tent makers. And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks. And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in his spirit and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ. When they opposed themselves and blasphemed, he shook his raiment and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads, I am clean. From henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles. And he departed thence and entered into a certain man's house named Justice, one that worshiped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue. And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house, and many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak and hold not your peace, for I am with you, and no man shall set on you to hurt you, for I have much people in this city. The word of God says, he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. Now why did Paul stay there at Corinth? We see here because he was obedient unto the Lord's command. The greatest way you can glorify God is simply being obedient unto the Lord your God. Living a life in obedience unto him brings glory unto his name. Ultimately your life needs to be lived to the glory of God. How do we do that? By simply being obedient to the word of God. You want to know the will of God? Get in the word of God. Very basic. If you don't know God's will for your life, get in the word of God. You want to hear God speak? Get in his word. As they say, if you want to hear him speak audibly, read his word out loud. Here's how God speaks. It's through his word. God makes his will known through his word. I want you to notice over in the book of Acts chapter 14. In Acts chapter 14, down in verse 19, here's a situation which we had just mentioned the Apostle Paul encountered. In Acts chapter 14 and down in verse 19, we read there, "...and there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium who persuaded the people. And having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead, albeit as the disciples stood round about and rose up and came into the city, and the next day departed with Barnabas to Derbe. And when they had preached the gospel to that city and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord on whom they had believed." I want you to notice here the Apostle Paul, as he is going from city to city, preaching the gospel. His purpose in preaching the gospel is that people might be saved, but the ultimate purpose, as people are saved, that churches might be established. And as churches are started in particular areas, then they partake in taking the gospel to areas round about them. The Apostle Paul did not saturate that area. He started church works and then he moved on and started other church works. It is through the Lord's churches that God is glorified. It's through the churches that God's word is proclaimed. It's through the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Great Commission, that he has given us that we are given to go and make disciples of all nations. That's what he's commanded us to do. Now listen to what the Word of God says back in Isaiah chapter 11. You don't need to turn there. Down in verse 9, it says, "...they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." Here I want you to listen also over in the book of Habakkuk. In Habakkuk chapter 2 and verse 14, the Word of God says, "...for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea." How do the waters cover the sea? They fully cover the sea, the waters do. Therefore, the earth is going to be fully covered with the knowledge of the glory of God one day. What is our purpose in life is to share the glory of God, the knowledge of him, in the person of Jesus Christ by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A highlight from How & When We Do Evangelism
"Well, good afternoon. Thank you for being here. I was thinking this afternoon as I was looking at all the people that are here, how the Lord used obviously it was His Word, but 12 apostles, 12 apostles. There's 12. To flip the world. What a God we serve. I shared this verse with a prayer group on Wednesday. Romans 10 .1. Romans 10 .1. We'll read that verse to you and then we'll pray. Beginning in verse 1 and only verse 1, Romans 10. Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. Let's pray. Oh God, let it be true by Your mighty hand that our desire, our heart's desire, our prayer, our prayer to You is that our family would be saved. That those within our church wall would be saved. Lord, let it be true that our heart's desire and our prayer to You would be that Manchester would be saved. That Tennessee would be saved. Lord, that America would be saved. Lord, we just openly confess, Lord, just repent in our hearts. God, that we have such a narrow, small view of You. God, You are mighty to save. I mean, God, forgive us, oh God, forgive us how we have tried to limit You, Lord, as if we could. Lord, forgive us if we've thought that great moves of You are impossible. Lord, oftentimes we pray for revival, Lord, and we pray for awakening, but Lord, perhaps if we were pressed on it, we would say we don't truly believe it. Oh, let it not be, Lord. Oh, we need You, God, oh, we need You. Lord, You have storehouses, treasuries in Heaven that we know nothing about. Great is Your faithfulness, Lord. Oh, would You pour out Your Spirit. Oh, Lord, would You bring great revival, great awakening, Lord, in our own hearts, Lord, in our own homes, in our own church houses, Lord, in our world, Lord, make Your glory known. Oh, give us a better understanding of who You are, Lord. Lord, You're faithful time and time again. Thank You for Your Word. Oh, strengthen me, Lord, strengthen us. We ask this in Christ's name. Amen. Well, I've been tasked with speaking on how and when we evangelize. I'm really honored and encouraged that Pastor John and this church have that desire to learn about evangelism, that they take evangelism seriously, and I know Bobby would include himself in this, but just as an evangelist, as a minister, we just want to avail ourselves to you if you have questions or if you need the encouragement, if you need resources, if you need tracts, if you want opportunities to serve alongside us, we just want to avail ourselves to you and afford that to you. I'm encouraged that John and Richard both drove down from Nashville, and that was a good drive. Richard shared with me he just needed the encouragement. There's not a lot of encouragement even in our churches. How sad, but how true, not always a lot of encouragement to evangelize. So Bobby prepared. I think he has a lot of lessons on this, and he shared with me one of his and kind of with the attitude, if my bullet fits your gun, then use it, and so he did a lot of the mining on this. I've definitely added some of my heart's desires to share with you. I trust it will be an encouragement to you. So how and when we evangelize. I'd say the greatest verse, at least for me, is, Bobby shared that with you earlier, Romans 1 .16, for I'm not ashamed of the gospel. When I think of that verse, drawn to the words of Christ, that those that are ashamed of Him, He'll be ashamed of us. That's heavy on us, does it not? Are we ashamed of Christ? Are we ashamed of God? Are you? Now you may give lip service and say no, but what does your actions say? Are you ashamed of God? Romans 1 .16, for I'm not ashamed of the gospel, for it's the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek quote that was shared with me. Moeller said this, at the end of the day, the biggest obstacle to evangelism is Christians who do not share the gospel. It's not churches that don't support it or antagonistic people on the streets or lack of knowledge, but the biggest obstacle of evangelism is Christians who don't share the gospel. So for professing Christians, you know, why are we not sharing the gospel? What's the reason? So what is evangelism? This is evangelism. Speaking to others the gospel of Jesus Christ. That's evangelism. Speaking the gospel, the good news of Christ Jesus. This should include that God is the holy creator of all things, that man is a sinner deserving of God's eternal wrath, that Jesus lived a perfect life and died a substitutionary death, substitutionary, we get our word substitute, right, in our place, in the place of those that believe, that he rose from the grave and grants eternal life to all who believe. And lastly, the only way to be reconciled to God and saved from his eternal wrath in hell is to repent, to turn from your sin and turn to Christ. And trust him alone. You're turning to him in faith. And so, you know, that's, sometimes that's a hot topic or sometimes that's misunderstood at repent and believe. But brothers and sisters, it's really the same coin. If we're going to turn to Christ, well obviously turning to him, we're turning away from something else. It's that change of mind. If we are now believing in Christ, we're looking to him, then we've changed our mind on the love of our sin. So how do we evangelize? How do we evangelize? So what do you think of when you think, I need to evangelize or I'm going to evangelize or I have the desire to evangelize? How would you evangelize? There's many ways. There's only one message, but there's many ways. So one heading would be personal evangelism, right? So we would take, we would witness, we would proclaim that gospel to those that we already have a relationship with and that personal evangelism. So think of someone like your worker, your neighbor, your friend, your family. It's personal. We know them on a personal level. It's one to one. It's usually in somewhat intimate setting, personal evangelism. So think of it this way. How much, how much must we hate someone not to share the gospel with them? So do we really believe that there's a hell to be shunned? Do we believe that? Do we believe that there's really a hell for all those who do not believe the gospel? Do we just say that or do we really believe it? And if we do believe that there is a hell to shun, that there's a hell to flee from, there's a wrathful God to flee from and come to him on his terms, then how much must we hate someone not to share the gospel with them? And I'll take it a step further, but ultimately by not proclaiming the gospel to someone, that message of reconciliation, in effect we're damning them. We're saying, you're not good enough for me to tell you how to be reconciled with God. We leave them helpless, we leave them hopeless. So we must ask ourselves that. You know, it's awkward. It's inconvenient. Bobby talked about sometimes that fear. Brothers and sisters, I think what it boils down to is that we fear man and we don't fear God. You know, we'll try to water things down like, well, fear in God means honoring him or reverencing him or being in awe of him or respecting him. It's true. It's all those things. But we're to fear him. We don't fear him like the worldly. We don't fear him like those that do not have an advocate with the Father. But we're to fear him. One of the great things of fearing God is if we fear him, we don't have to fear man. So how much must we hate someone not to share the gospel with them? So how we evangelize personal evangelism. Who's heard of friendship evangelism, right? Let's be buddies. Let's hit it off well. Let's build a rapport. Let's build a relationship with them. And then, you know, when I've gained their confidence, I've gained their trust, when they know that I truly care for them, well, then maybe I'll slip the gospel in. Is that how we're to evangelize? So at what point do you share the gospel? Is you've it had your friend -versary on 90 days in or two years in, or when do you transition from I'm only a friend to now I want to share the gospel with you? How about this? If they're your friends and you use the excuse, well, they don't want to hear about Christ, well, what's more important now, your friendship with them or telling them how to be reconciled with the holy God? I'm not saying that we don't share our one true hope with our friends. It's not that we don't build relationships or that we don't care for people, that we don't do life with people. We don't have to become someone's friend. We don't even have to be liked by them to tell them the truth and love. You know, I think it's a wonderful scheme of the devil, right, to delay. Well, I need to really get in and know them before I share the gospel. Or is it really, I don't really want to right now, so this is my excuse. I'll just keep building this relationship and maybe one day I'll build the confidence. Bobby spoke on that as well as you oftentimes hear maybe even on t -shirts, so share the gospel at all times and if necessary use words, foolishness. All the time use words. How else are they here? And then what about strangers on how we evangelize in personal evangelism? Is it okay to impose our views on them? Bobby gave a wonderful example, right? I'm a barber. I talk to people every day, all day. I talk to people till my brain hurts and I just want to be alone in a cabin for months. But I'm not called to do that, though, how badly I want to. But they will tell me everything. Stuff I don't even care to hear. Stuff I don't want to hear. It's because it just overflows, right? They want to talk about their sports car or their hobby or their wife or their kids. It's not all bad things, but it just overflows out of them. And they're going to tell you. They're going to tell you exactly what's on their mind. And so how many times have we heard professing Christians say, well, I don't want to impose my views on others. And we would impose our views if we saw someone fixing to get run over. We would snatch them. We'd help them. We'd grab them. We'd do what it took. I don't think we fully comprehend eternity and the holiness of God. And so, yes, we impose our views. The one true view, the only view. Brother, sister, you must be reconciled to God, for if you are not, you will meet Him in that final day. Jesus and the apostles, they preached primarily to strangers. We see that all throughout the gospels and the book of Acts. They didn't have to become their friends. They didn't even have to know their name to share the gospel with them. And we see specifically the example in John 4, the woman at the well. There was no friendship there. They met there at the well and the gospel was proclaimed. So that's personal evangelism. Secondly, and how we evangelize is oftentimes an open air. I've been with Bobby and been out with John. And I know some, even a guy or two here that's been willing to go with me. And I know Richard goes out on the streets as well. So open air preaching. And that's the public reading of scripture or the proclamation of the law or preaching of the gospel in an outdoor setting. This is Charles Spurgeon who said, Bobby shared this quote with me. I've read it before. I love it. This is what Spurgeon says. He says, no sort of defense is needed for preaching out of doors. But it would need a very potent argument to prove that a man had done his duty who has never preached beyond the walls of a meeting house. So just to explain that a little bit, if you didn't grasp it, saying there's no excuse, you don't have to have a reason to go preach on the street. But you'd have to have a really good argument to say why you always stand here and preach, but you've never went on the street. So we are called beyond the four walls. Love George Whitfield. So much history there. Read an abbreviated biography on him not too long ago. Just so convicting. He said, I believe I was never more acceptable to my master than when I was standing to teach those hearers in the open fields. You know, I think we have some type of romanticized thought that like a long time ago everyone loved God or a long time ago it was like more peaceful or like a long time ago it wasn't as wicked as it is now. Not true. There's nothing new under the sun. There's always been haters of God. And when you read some of the accounts of George Whitfield, you know, he had dead cats thrown on him, had blood thrown on him, had people stand beside him and just clang drums while he was preaching. We've had things thrown at us and I'm sure put on us and such, but when's the last time you had blood dumped on you or a dead animal put on you? That's not to say that we oftentimes don't go through difficulties or hard things. We do. But don't have that romanticized view that, well, a long time ago it was easier. Brothers and sisters, it was not any easier than it is today. And then a principle manner by which God spread his word throughout the scripture was through the open air. And we see that. Noah, a herald of righteousness. Solomon, Ezra, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jonah, think of all the prophets. John the Baptist coming and preaching his message of repentance. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus, the disciples, Philip, Paul, Paulus, all them outdoor open air proclaimers of the good news of Jesus Christ. And preaching ultimately is a calling from God internally that should be confirmed by and a submission to one's local church. So by no means is this a lone wolf. Is this a, well, you know what I see oftentimes in some street ministers and those that are very evangelistic in their zeal is, well, everyone on the church is not on board. And so, you know, let's just ride off the church. I'm the only holy one. You know, it's just me. No one else wants to go. Maybe everyone's not called to go on the street. I think a lot are that don't. But maybe not everyone's called. Maybe that sister in the church that doesn't go on the street, she's called to just a ministry of prayer. And so we need to be plugged into the local church and be submitted to the local church. The Lord has oversight for us for a reason. So another way, as Bobby said, we, some guys, they're kind of more drawn to apologetics. And apologetics, again, is not the I'm making an apology, but it is a defense of a certain set of beliefs. But apologetics is not evangelism unless it includes the gospel message. And so this refutation of facts or, you know, this just debating for the sake of debating. Brothers and sisters, if it doesn't, if it's not grounded on Christ, the message of Christ is not heralded in it, it's not evangelism. Though it can bolster one's faith, though it can shut up often many that want to come with an argument, but many of those that you'll meet that want to have these arguments, they don't even really know what they're saying, most of them. They just, that's their defense, their defense of the gospel. They're trying to shut you down and turn you off and soothe their conscience. And so just a practical point of advice I can say when sharing the gospel with others is they're going to come at you with all kinds of angles of, well, can we trust the Bible? Or my cousin told me this, or I knew a professor that said this, or whatever it is. And that's fine, we can have those debates, we can bring apologetics into it. What we have to remember is we always have to circle back around to this question, is what are you going to do with your sins on Judgment Day? What are you going to do with your sins on Judgment Day? For the Christian, you'll stand closer than righteousness of Christ.
A highlight from Monday of the Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time A Time of Lectio Divina for the Discerning Heart Podcast
"A time of Lectio Divina for the discerning heart. Monday of the 22nd week in ordinary time. As you begin, take a deep breath and exhale slowly. For the next few moments, surrender all the cares and concerns of this day to the Lord. Say slowly from your heart, Jesus, I trust in you. You take over. Become aware that he is with you. Looking upon you with love. Wanting to be heard deep within your heart. A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke chapter 4 verses 16 through 30. Jesus came to Nazareth where he had been brought up and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it is written, the spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives, and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord's year of favor. He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them. This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen. And he won the approval of all and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips. They said, this is Joseph's son, surely? But he replied, no doubt you will quote me saying, physician, heal yourself and tell me we have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside. And he went on, I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country. There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you in Elijah's day when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land. But Elijah was not sent to any one of these. He was sent to a widow in Zarephath and a Sidonian town. And in the prophet Elisha's time, there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured except the Syrian Naaman.
A highlight from Matthew: Emmanuel (Which Means God With Us)
"You know, there is a world of difference between saying to someone that I am for you and telling them that I am with you. These two things do not mean the same thing. There's a world of difference between telling someone, I'm for you, I'm in your corner, I'm rooting you on, you've got this. There's a world of difference between telling someone that and telling them, I'm with you. In World War I, there was a lieutenant. His troops were getting ready to go over the edge. They were ready to take on the enemy. They were ready to cross the trenches. And this lieutenant, he's anxious. He's nervous about what might happen, and he sees a commander coming down through the trenches. The commander looks at this man, and he can see the anxiety. He can see the nerves there, and so he comes alongside him, puts his arm on him, and he points out. He points out to where they're going. He points out to no man's land. And he tells them, when we go out there, I'm going to be with you. We're going to do this together. And that gave the younger man a sense of confidence. It wasn't the old grizzled veteran just saying, you got this, from a distance, and go do it. Rather, he was saying, I'm going to be with you as you do it. I'm with you in the trenches, and I'm going to be with you in the battle yet to come. As we said, it's one thing to tell someone I'm for you. That's easy. You can do that to anyone. It's another thing to say, I'm going to invest myself in the outcome of what you're going through. I'm going to enter into the crucible of your pain with you, at your side. There's a comfort when a commander or a general does it, but how much more so when a god does that. When god not only gives us a word and says, hey, you got this. I'm for you. I'm in your corner. But rather when he says, I am with you as you face this. There's something encouraging about that. In today's text, it's exactly what we see. In today's reading, the birth of this child, the one who had come from a throne down to a manger. In this text, we see that this one was to be named Immanuel. That this one was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. And that his name literally means God with us. God with us. Not just God for us, but God with us. Verse 23 of our text will say, behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son. They shall call his name Immanuel, which means God with us. This is one of the primary attributes, one of the primary things that makes our god cool, that makes our god awesome. One of the primary things is because he didn't just create the cosmos, spin it like a top, and then go off and watch us from a distance to see how things would turn out. Rather, from the get -go, from Jump Street, from the garden, that which he created, he dwells with. He creates Adam, he creates Eve, and then he walks and talks with them in the cool of the afternoon. The pagan gods didn't do this sort of thing. They didn't pay attention necessarily to everything that was going on. The god of the deists, the people who think that God is just this aloof god out in the cosmos somewhere that has nothing to do with us, who wants that kind of god? Thank God that's not the god we have. Rather, we have a god who is with us in the midst of everything we're going through. This was true in the garden. It was true at Sinai. It was true in the tabernacle. It was true in the temple. That's true for even us as New Testament believers because where does God reside now? God is with us. Do you know how the book of Matthew closes? Do you know what the very last verse is? Here we see as Jesus is introduced, his name means, I'm with you, God with us, the very last verse in the book of Matthew, the very last block of text in the book of Matthew says the same thing. In the Great Commission, we see this. Go therefore, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, teaching them to serve all the things I've commanded you, and lo, I am with you even to the end of the age. You see that? There's a bookend. The moment Jesus is introduced in chapter 1, the message is that God has come down from the throne to be with his people. And then prior to his ultimate ascension, he says the same thing because I'm going to leave my helper. Oh, and by the way, I am with you even to the end of the age. That's a God we can love. That's a God we can worship. A God who is not just for us but a God who is with us. All right, if you would, let's look at verses 18 and 19. We're going to talk about the God who is with us as we see of his birth. In verses 18 and 19, we're going to see what was going on with Mary Joseph, and then we're going to work our way through the text as time will allow. Okay, verses 18 and 19. Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows. After his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph, her husband, being a just man and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. All right, at the start of this passage, we see something just very ordinary, something as natural as natural can be. There's a woman, an individual who's pregnant, a pregnancy that will lead to childbirth. Very natural, happens all the time. However, in these verses, we see that there's something unnatural or at least unusual that's going to take place. Verse 18 adds an unordinary qualifier. It says that there's going to be a pregnancy, normal, but in this case it will occur without physical union. Now I'm not a physician, but I have studied anatomy and the like, and I know that's just not the way that this works. Well, verse 18, we're seeing the seeds for something that we call the virgin birth, and this is one of the most important things to understand with regards to Christ's birth, with regards to the incarnation, because this is not an average everyday event. Rather, this is a miracle, and it's not just a miracle, but it's a fulfillment of prophecy, because Isaiah said this is the way it was going to go down. Behold, there be a virgin who would give birth to a child. Now verse 18 clarifies it. It's not Joseph's child, and for these verses, we know this much. They're betrothed, but there's been no physical union then. Now if you've seen Fiddler on the Roof, you remember the matchmaker? Remember the matchmaker? Well, they had similar things throughout Jewish history. They would have a season in which people were brought together. This was tradition. They were brought together by matchmakers and parents and others. They were put into a union, and yet there was a year. I know you want to sing it. There was a year of time after they were brought together in which they were sort of betrothed. We might consider it engaged. It's not really a point -for -point analogy, but they were betrothed. They spent a year in this estate prior to physical union. That's what's going on here. It's actually much stronger than an engagement. This is a strong relationship that they have, and yet it has not been consummated physically at this point. And so, all of a sudden, out of the blue, Mary is with child. Uh -oh. Now, we have lost touch with the word scandal. We really have. I mean, dear heavens, everything is a scandal. It doesn't matter what news. Whatever you pick up, there's a scandal on every page from every direction. It seems like every aspect of celebrity or politics or athletics or what have you, scandal, scandal, scandal. We've lost touch with it. In fairness, it didn't always used to be this way. If you're watching a TV show, if Barney Fife stole part of Andy Griffith's sandwich, they can make a whole scandalous episode out of that. There was things in the past that seemed scandalous at the time that now it's absolutely nothing. We've lost touch with scandal to the point we look at this text, and we don't understand what Joseph's going through. And his culture and his time, what he and Mary were just experiencing. She's pregnant, and there's no father. There's been no physical union. He is betrothed to someone who's pregnant, doesn't know what's going on. This was a scandal of scandals. And in his day, based on an understanding of Deuteronomy, this could even have led to her death. This was not a small thing. This is a huge, huge event that's taking place. And so, in verses 18 and 19, we see Joseph in the middle of a conundrum. He's betrothed to this individual who has this situation going on. He doesn't know how it happened. He doesn't know exactly what's going on, but he has concern. Now, he cares for Mary enough that he doesn't want to see this become the public spectacle that it otherwise very well could be. And so he attempts to find some way to accommodate her well -being, but apart from being able to marry her, because he's a just man, and there's obviously been in his mind an infidelity that's taken place that would disqualify that union. Now, before he could act on that impulse, an angel intervenes. Let's look at verses 20 and 21 to see what happens in this intervention. Verse 20, but while he thought about these things, while Joseph thought about all this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she'll bring forth a son, you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All right. As we said in verses 18 and 19, Joseph and Mary, Mary is now pregnant. Joseph is trying to figure out what to do. And in verse 20, we see that while he's contemplating, which I'm sure this took some time for him to work this through, but while he's thinking about these things, he goes to sleep. He's worried, he's anxious, he falls asleep, and in the midst of his sleep, an angel of the Lord comes to him in a vision, in a dream. And this happens at other intervals as scripture as well. And when the angel comes to Joseph, it's a simple message. It says, Joseph, what you think has happened is not accurate. But let me tell you, you're worried you should take Mary as your wife. You shouldn't be. Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. Now, I don't know what kind of theologian Joseph was at this point. We believe him to be older than Mary, but we don't know what kind of theologian he was. But whatever his theology was, he probably didn't fully understand that last statement. That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. Joseph didn't have John Calvin around to explain all the Trinitarian implications of this. And I imagine Joseph had more questions than answers, even when he hears this news. And yet he knew this much, even if he didn't have all the Trinity figured out at this time, even if he doesn't know what it means for the Spirit to overshadow her, even if he's still going, what does that mean? He at least knew this much, that Mary's pregnancy was not a function of her sin. He knew that there was not some other father in some tent down the street. He knew that the child that she was pregnant with was from God. And some way that he probably couldn't fully articulate, but he knew it was from God. And then God, through the angel, tells Joseph what to name him. Now naming rites in Jewish culture or any culture come from seats of authority. If you think about it in the garden, in the garden, Adam and Eve, you know, they're given the garden and all the animals are frolicking about as animals do. And Adam and Eve had a job, they actually had a couple of jobs. One was to take dominion over that which God had given them, and another thing was to do what for the animals? To name them, right? The greater names, the lesser, right? That's why parents named children are not children naming parents. Kind of glad it doesn't work that way. In this case, we see that God himself, through the angel, takes ownership over the name of his own son. It's not up to Joseph to name. He says his name will be Jesus. His name will be Jesus. We'll see that a little bit more in the verses yet to come. Whatever the case here is, the idea is that as this child is born of the Holy Spirit, this child comes with a purpose. His name will be Jesus because Jesus means what? It means the Lord is salvation. His person is yoked to his work. The angel identifies his person and his origins from God, the Holy Spirit, but he also identifies here's what he's come to do, and we're going to see that a little bit more in the verses yet to come. What we're also going to notice here, just a minute, is that when the angel talks about who will come to save his people from their sins, remember last week we talked about this. The people didn't necessarily have a problem with their sins. You know what the great irony is? You give someone a cure for a disease they don't think they have. If you come running up to someone on the streets of Gulfport with a vial of some cure, some medicine, or what have you, for a disease they don't understand they got, they'll just say, you crossed the other side of the street. They won't care because they don't recognize what you're holding is the cure for a problem that they have. The same is true with sin. The culture around us doesn't really think they have a problem with sin, and if they do think sin is a problem, they do this thing that's convenient. They redefine sin to be something that is external to them, a problem other people have. Whatever the case, when people had no understanding that they need to be saved from sin, if anything that they need to be saved from, it was going to be from Rome, which is what we talked about last week. Their fear, their concern, Joseph's concern, Mary's concern, the people down the street's concern was not so much that, oh, my sin is going to get me. And yet, that was the spiritual guillotine that was over their necks and ours apart from this child that was born. Every man, woman, and child has stood condemned under sin. You read the Book of Romans, the first five, six chapters, as Paul is condemning the human race and saying, well, this is our problem. Then, of course, he introduces the solution. Well, the angel introduced the solution too and says, this one has come not just to make your life better, not just to pour a little Jesus seasoning on things to give you your best life now. This one came to this end, to this object, to save you from your sins, to save you from a problem that you might not even understand that you have and that our culture certainly doesn't understand it has. That's why he came, and here's the thing. That's what the whole Old Testament said he would do. The Old Testament said when he shows up, when the Messiah we've been waiting from since Genesis 3 .15, when the seed shows up, he will come to save people from their sins, not what they were looking for in the first century, not what they were looking for in the 21st century. And yet the Old Testament prophecy said that's the guy to look out for, one who is not what you expect, one who will come to save you from your sins, one who is not going to come down on a red carpet from God, but will be born in a place like a manger. Isaiah 53, one of the most famous chapters that speaks to these issues, says this. This one would be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. The chastisement for our peace would be upon him. By his stripes we'll be healed. All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to our own way, and the Lord has laid upon him the iniquity of us all. The angel got it, and he says in the manger, Joseph, and in the womb of Mary right now is the one that has come to do just that. And the cruel irony is the people won't be looking for that. As he gets older, they'll reject him. They'll reject what he came to do, and yet this is the one. This is the child. All right, let's take a look now at verses 22 through 25 and just kind of build on this case. Okay, verse 22. So all this was done, that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken by the Lord through the prophets, saying, Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son. They shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated God with us. Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took to him his wife, and did not know her until she had brought forth her firstborn son, and he called his name Jesus. All right, as we just said a moment ago, Christ's person is yoked to his work. The great problem in our age is that our culture doesn't do the same thing. At Christmastime in December, you just watch, people don't have a real problem with the person of Jesus so much. They like cute Jesus, even divine Jesus. That's not really the problem. The problem is his work. He came to convict us of our sins, to turn our hearts to God, to cause us to repent, and to rescue us from sins that most of us don't acknowledge that we have. But in this text, the angel spells it all out. He says this is the reason he's coming. This is the reason he's coming, in order to save them from their sins. And as he saves them from their sins, he will be the fulfillment of prophecies that said he would do just that, which is why even the angel quotes the Old Testament here. End of verse 23. Behold, the virgin shall be with child, shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated God with us. There's a continuity you're supposed to see with that which is written down recorded in the Old Testament and that which comes on the scene here in Matthew chapter 1. God wants us to see that, and Matthew was desperate that his contemporaries saw it. Remember, their problem when they killed Jesus was they didn't recognize him for who he was. I mean, they had other issues too, but that was chief among them. They just didn't know what they were doing. Isn't that what Jesus said? Father, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing. Same idea. They had a Messiah on their radar that they wanted, and it wasn't this one, this guy. So at Matthew, when he's writing chapter 1, when he's writing to the Jews, he started with the genealogies we talked about last week, and he said, all right, this Jesus is going to be a son of Abraham, which makes him a Jew, and it's going to be a son of David, which makes him a king, or in the line of kings. His objective was to tell the Jewish audience who this Jesus was. Well, here, as chapter 1 continues, he gives the biography even more so, and he says that this one, this Jesus, which means God is salvation, is also named Immanuel, which is an Old Testament prophecy that means God with us. Matthew's making the case, even here in chapter 1, clearly in chapter 1, to a Jewish audience, that this is the Jewish Messiah. Now, would that be compelling? Well, to some, yes. To others, not so much. Now, the past 15 minutes or so, we've quoted Isaiah a few times. I think I referenced Malachi as well, but there in verses 22 through 25, we see the reference again to Isaiah more acutely, more specifically, and this is a reference that to the Jewish audience should have resonated with him, but again, as we just said a moment ago, the irony is that it didn't. The reason that's ironic is this. Matthew knew that many of his fellow Jews had rejected Jesus while simultaneously longing for a Messiah, and his objective here in chapter 1 is to say, hey, guys, they're the one and the saint. The one you rejected is the one you were looking for, and that's what Peter does in Acts 2. He tells the Pharisees, you know the one you killed, the one you nailed to a tree, the one you hung on the cross? That was him, and when they finally get it in the book of Acts, when they finally get that, what happens to them? Scripture says they're just broken to the heart because then they understand what they did. They understand that the light of life had come to them. They didn't recognize it, and then they killed them. As we look to wrap up, we're going to build on all these things as we head towards baptism, as we go towards the temptation, and the things that are going to follow in the book of Matthew, but as we wrap up, I want to return briefly to the word Emmanuel, which we've already established means God with us. Now, earlier I used the term, the term deus. Let me explain briefly. I know many of us know it, but let me explain briefly for those who don't. Every culture, when it comes to religion, there's two camps that they fall in. One, assuming that they believe in God at all, one is the camp of the deist. That camp believes God exists, but we can't know him. He formed the world around us, but then he went off and he does his thing and we do ours. That's deism. As Christians, we're not deists. The alternate is what we call theism. Theism posits that God exists, but you can know him, and what's more, he wants you to know him. You and I are theists, and if you drill into that term even more, we're monotheists. We believe in one God. We're not polytheists that believe in a lot of them. We believe that there is a God. You can have a relationship with him. There is a God and there is just one. Now, that's highly desirable because the alternative is you have a God you can't know that doesn't care about you, and that's what a lot of agnostics in our day do. They go, I think there might be a God somewhere, but they really don't think you can have a relationship with him. Who wants that? Who desires that? Well, the picture in Matthew 1 and throughout the book of Matthew, the picture that's painted here is completely different. It's not about a God who formed the cosmos and went away. Rather, it's a God who is ever -present with creation and undergoes the life experiences, the human experiences that we do up to and including birth. You have a God that can relate to you. You know, one of the greatest hardships or plagues on our age is the plague of loneliness. It's this idea that no one can relate to what I'm going through. The life circumstances have conspired in such a way that I'm going through something that no one can really understand, no one can really relate to, and then there's an isolation that comes with that, even a withdrawal. Maybe some people withdraw from us, and then we're left in this estate. Some of us, maybe many of us, are left in a state of loneliness, maybe for a season, maybe for a lifetime, and it's the hardest thing if you've experienced it. If that's you or someone you know, this message of God with us, and this word of manual should hold a special meaning. Others leave might us, others might forsake us, others might let us down, and yet the God who walked with Adam and Eve, when there was just two of them in the cool of the afternoon, walks with us still. Even we're just one of us. God is with us no matter what we're going through. He's not just munching popcorn, watching what you're going through this week. Some of us have a picture of God that He's up there in the clouds somewhere with a long beard, a long robe, and He's just kind of doing this to see what we do, and He's ready to punish us and the like, and He's there and we're here, and there's this distance. That's not the God of Scripture. The God of Scripture is a God who is intimate and close and wants to be close to you and wants your hand to fit in His. He doesn't call you a peon in the kingdom of heaven. He calls you a son or daughter, and that has meaning. What father or mother among us has not held the hand of our child and felt that proximity, felt that closeness, felt that bond, felt that unity that comes with holding your own? Well, that's what God wants with you. And even now, even if we've been fleeing from Him, His arms are open to this. He came as a babe and a manger, the most defenseless thing that you can possibly come. He came from a state of great glory into a state of great hardship, great difficulty. It would ultimately lead to His death, and yet He did it because He loves His people. He's not indifferent to us. He's not indifferent to us. The other problem that we can sometimes verge into is we can think that He's indifferent to me, but He's cool with other Christians, but I've done something that is so egregious or He knows my past or He knows the things I did yesterday because of that there's this gap. If there's any gap in your walk with God, it's not because He's drifted away from you. It's because you're pushing Him away. The God of this book does not withdraw from children, from sons and daughters, but He's like the parable of the prodigal son. His arms are open wide. Matthew 1, God with us. Matthew 28, God with us. Behold, I am with you even to the end of the age. Whatever you face this week, this book is not an abstract thing that just applies to other religious people or you on occasion. It applies to you today. God's with you as you face whatever you're facing, whatever hardship you're walking down, whatever valley you're traversing, God is with you, and that's a great encouragement of Scripture, and no other faith can present it except this alone. God is with us. We see it in Matthew 1. We're going to see it in Matthew 2 and the balance of the book. Let's pray. Join Dr. Toby Holt and Dr. Dominic Aquila for a tour of Israel in February of 2024. For more information, visit fpcgulfport .org.
A highlight from John Amanchukwu
"Welcome to the Eric Metaxas Show. We'll get you from point A to point B. But if you're looking for point C, well buddy, you're on your own. But if you wait right here, in just about two minutes, the bus to point C will be coming right by. And now, here's your Ralph Kramden of the Airways, Eric Metaxas. Hey there folks, welcome to the show. We have a guest on who, man, I don't even know how to start. First of all, I'll try to pronounce his name correctly. John Amanchukwu. I got John correct. I think I got Amanchukwu correct. John Amanchukwu is someone I've come to admire tremendously. He's in North Carolina. He's been a pastor for years. He is a brave voice in the midst of the madness, one of the bravest voices. And it's my privilege to have him as my guest for this hour. John, welcome. Hey, thank you so much, Dr. Eric, for having me on your show. You can't call me Dr. Eric because I'm not a doctor, but you can call me whatever you want. Could you call me the Commodore or Admiral? I'd prefer, I really prefer that. But no, seriously, you have been such a brave voice and people have seen you, you know, probably on Instagram reels or whatever. Tell my audience, because this is, it's always better when my guest tells the story, but you've been a brave voice speaking out against the, what would be a nice term for it, of satanic lunacy profoundly sexual material being given to children in our schools. Very tough for most of us to believe that this is happening, but it has been happening. You've been exposing it and you've been bravely speaking against it. So let's just start, John, with how did you get involved in this? At what point did you say, I'm going to step up and start confronting crazy these abusers. Cause that's what they are abusers of our children. How did that start for you? Well, I've been involved in this kind of work for the past 20 years. I joined a church in college called upper room church regarding Christ. I joined at the age of 19 and the senior pastor is a Bishop Patrick Langwood and senior. And he says that our church is a cause driven church. You know, we believe that there is a cause in Christ. There's a cause in the marketplace for us to bring our biblical worldview to it, to engage the culture and to fight against evil and wickedness. Isaiah five 20 says, well, to those who call evil, good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness. And so we've just been on the front lines on the abortion clinic issue, fighting against fatherlessness and the black community. And now even with this indoctrination in the public school system, now, some people call it indoctrination. Some people call it grooming, but I like to call it mental rape. That's the best way for me to define what has taken place in the public school system. I call it mental rape because it assaults the soul. It stains the brain and it robs children of their innocence. When you accessible for kids, K through 12, a child is going to pick that book up. And I went out to Asheville and spoke about a book entitled it's perfectly normal. That book is for kids 10 and up it's hardcore porn. It's not soft born it's hardcore porn. That book gives Hugh Hefner a run for his money. When you open the book, it depicts images of heterosexual sex and homosexual sex. Why do 10 year olds need to see and learn how you should have lesbian sex at the age of 10? That's disgusting. That's evil. It's mental rape. There's an assault taking place upon children. And there's a critical point that's being left out of the equation. And that's the church. The church is not engaging. We need some modern day, Carl Bartz. We need some Martin modern day, Martin Nemo is we need some people who are willing to engage the culture and tell the church, listen, we are not supposed to be co -opted by the state. The state is not supposed to run the church. And when we go into a public school, we have this thing called parental choice. Some call it rights, but I call it parental choice. I call it a parental parental choice because our rights come from God as parents, but choice parents have a have the choice and the knowledge of being able to assess and know what's going on in the public school system and to have the freedom and the liberty to push back when there is an assault upon their children.
Pastor John Amanchukwu's Battle Against Satanic School Grooming
"John Amanchukwu is someone I've come to admire tremendously. He's in North Carolina. He's been a pastor for years. He is a brave voice in the midst of the madness, one of the bravest voices. And it's my privilege to have him as my guest for this hour. John, welcome. Hey, thank you so much, Dr. Eric, for having me on your show. You can't call me Dr. Eric because I'm not a doctor, but you can call me whatever you want. Could you call me the Commodore or Admiral? I'd prefer, I really prefer that. But no, seriously, you have been such a brave voice and people have seen you, you know, probably on Instagram reels or whatever. Tell my audience, because this is, it's always better when my guest tells the story, but you've been a brave voice speaking out against the, what would be a nice term for it, of satanic lunacy profoundly sexual material being given to children in our schools. Very tough for most of us to believe that this is happening, but it has been happening. You've been exposing it and you've been bravely speaking against it. So let's just start, John, with how did you get involved in this? At what point did you say, I'm going to step up and start confronting crazy these abusers. Cause that's what they are abusers of our children. How did that start for you? Well, I've been involved in this kind of work for the past 20 years. I joined a church in college called upper room church regarding Christ. I joined at the age of 19 and the senior pastor is a Bishop Patrick Langwood and senior. And he says that our church is a cause driven church. You know, we believe that there is a cause in Christ. There's a cause in the marketplace for us to bring our biblical worldview to it, to engage the culture and to fight against evil and wickedness. Isaiah five 20 says, well, to those who call evil, good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness. And so we've just been on the front lines on the abortion clinic issue, fighting against fatherlessness and the black community. And now even with this indoctrination in the public school system, now, some people call it indoctrination. Some people call it grooming, but I like to call it mental rape. That's the best way for me to define what has taken place in the public school system. I call it mental rape because it assaults the soul. It stains the brain and it robs children of their innocence. When you accessible for kids, K through 12, a child is going to pick that book up.
A highlight from Evidence for Inspiration: Part II
"First Timothy chapter number six, we are discussing the evidence that there is for the inspiration of scripture. We believe the Bible to be the word of God written, pinned, written down, recorded by 40 different men in three languages over a period of 1600 years, but evidently with one author and that author being almighty God who created us to have relationship with him and loves us and so he's revealed himself to us in writing through what we call the Holy Bible. It's a book of books, 66 books, but all fits together and we believe it to be divinely inspired inerrant, meaning without error, it is pure, it is perfect, it is powerful and there are very few people who still believe that. The majority of people believe that the Bible came somewhat from God, but you know you can't really believe that every word is as God wants it to be. There are more people who think it's a myth and a fairy tale and a legend than who believe that it is the word of God and is to be taken literally. 415 times the Bible uses the phrase, thus saith the Lord, 313 times the Bible references the word of God or the word of the Lord and we believe that. I believe that. You've got to make up your mind whether or not you believe that. I trust that you do and so what we're covering is the evidence that we have to support that belief. God does not ask us, he does ask us to exercise faith. He does not ask us to exercise blind faith. Faith and reason are not mutually exclusive. Faith and evidence are not mutually exclusive. This is not a blind faith. This is a credible faith. There are reasons to believe that the Bible is the word of God and if the Bible is the word of God and if what it says is true, then it would behoove us to find out what it says and build our lives upon it. It has the answer to eternal life, life after death. It has the answer to salvation from sin in relationship with God. It has the answer for the best way to live upon this earth. We read in 2 Peter chapter 1, where into ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place and so while we study the evidence for the inspiration of scripture, there are two different benefits, primary benefits that we derive from this study. Number one, it bolsters our faith and confidence. Wherever that might be lacking, it gives us every reason to continue to believe that the Bible is the word of God and continue to attempt to build our lives upon the truth of scripture, but then what we also want to be able to do is to articulate these truths in conversation with lost people that we're trying to witness to, many of whom have no point of reference when we try to start in and give them the gospel and tell them about Jesus Christ and his death on the cross, his resurrection, how we can be forgiven. Well a lot of times we've got to go back to the very beginning and establish that God is the creator and he gave us his word and there are many who will oppose the truth that we believe that the Bible is divinely inspired and we want to be able to give some reasons for why we believe what we believe. We were in Pennsylvania a couple weeks ago, had youth camp all week long. On Saturday we went downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania to do some street preaching and some witnessing and had a great time with a few brothers down there and right before we left I had this conversation with a man who came by and wanted to oppose what was happening and call us names and so you know how it goes. Most people want to make you know snide comments or smart comments but they do it while they're in motion and while they're almost out of earshot, you understand what I'm talking about? They don't come up to you and say something to your face so they can engage you in conversation, they try to just like lob a bomb right after they're out of reach and so you know I challenge in a friendly way I hope, in a nice way I challenge the individual, tell me what you believe, let's have a conversation. I walk over to him and he's cussing and he's being profane and he's you know calling me stupid and he believed in the big banks so I asked him for his evidence. He had absolutely none, he had absolutely no reason to believe what he believed other than, and he basically admitted this and I pointed out to him in the conversation excuse me, other than he didn't want God to tell him what to do. I've got some coffee, I need to cough, excuse me, okay that's better. So it's good to be able to and I went into some of these things about why we believe the Bible is the Word of God and it is we have reason to believe it and the next one this morning we talked about the continuity of Scripture, the unity of Scripture, how you could not replicate what we have in the Bible if you were to attempt to do this. These 40 different, 1600 years, three different languages and so many topics and it all fits together and no contradictions and then we talked about the endurance of Scripture, heaven or earth shall pass away but God's Word shall not pass away and this Bible has been attacked throughout history and yet it remains the best -selling book in all the world. We talked about fulfilled prophecy and we could go on and on and on talking about fulfilled prophecy and how it verifies the inspiration of Scripture, 351 Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the first coming of Jesus Christ. But we'll continue this morning with scientific accuracy, scientific accuracy and I've misplaced my copy of the bulletin so I can follow along with your notes, there it is. First Timothy chapter 6 and verse number 20 is our first reference we'll look at, not sure how many of these references we can get to this morning but we'll try our best. First Timothy chapter 6 and in verse number 20 the Bible says, oh Timothy keep that which is committed I trust avoiding profane and vain battleings and oppositions of science falsely so -called. Now God anticipated the arguments that people would make against his word, God anticipated that people would say they don't believe in the Bible they believe in science, that was this individual that I spoke to a week ago yesterday. He claimed to believe in science, when I asked him what science he believed in he had no idea, he had no answer for why the Big Bang contradicted the scientific laws of thermodynamics, the scientific law of the conservation of angular momentum. Science and the Big Bang are incompatible. Now there are scientists who believe in the Big Bang because they don't want to believe in God but science is knowledge that is gained through observation and experimentation and nobody has observed anything like the Big Bang taking place. Nobody has observed the evolution of one species to another species, these are people who call people who call themselves scientists believe these things but that is science falsely so -called, it comes under the name of science but that is a misnomer, okay. It's not science at all, it's theory, it's belief, it's religion, it takes faith but people don't believe in the Bible because they believe in science. I believe in science, I believe in the water cycle, right, I believe in things that you can observe, I believe in germ theory, that's been demonstrated, right, I believe that a mask is about as helpful as a chain link fence, that's scientific, those are starting to come back out. Anyway scientific accuracy backs up the Bible, the Bible is not a science book but where it makes a scientific statement it is always accurate, in fact the Bible outpaces modern scientific discovery over and over and over again, there are things that began to be discovered in the 1800s that men thought this is modern scientific advancement and those things that were discovered beginning in the 1800s and on were in the Bible all along and how did these men who wrote thousands of years ago have this advanced scientific knowledge unless and here's where it is, I mean unless, unless God inspired what these men wrote, if the God who is the creator of heaven and earth, if the God who is the one who set up the laws that govern nature, if he's the one that gave the words, they don't make perfect sense that these men could have some advanced understanding of scientific principles and there are so many illustrations of this, we'll just take a few of them this morning, let's turn quickly, Job 26, Job is the oldest book in your Bible, I understand it does not come first sequentially but the book of Job was written prior to the book of Genesis, Job 26 and verse number 7, Job 26 and verse number 7, the Bible says in Job 26 7, he stretches out the north over the empty place and hangeth the earth upon nothing, here's what Job knew thousands of years ago that the Job understood what was theorized and demonstrated by Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton and modern scientists, Job understood the principles of gravity that the earth hangs upon nothing, that God stretched out the north over the empty place, that's a scientific fact in your Bible, Isaiah chapter 40 and verse 22, Isaiah 40 and verse number 22, the year 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, he was going to arrive in the East Indies by sailing west, there was deep concern that he would fall off the edge of the earth, what they did not know at the time was that on the edges there were huge walls of ice and it would be impossible for Columbus to penetrate those and fall off over the edge, but no here's what Columbus believed that the earth was round, it was a sphere, you could go west and eventually circle back to the east, now it was a lot farther than he imagined that it was, he landed in the Caribbean and thought he was in the Indies or claimed them to be, so anyway you got the East Indies and the West Indies, but in Isaiah 40 and verse number 22 the Bible said in 712 BC, 712 years before Christ, it is he, God, that sitteth upon the circle of the earth and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers that stretched out the heavens as a curtain and spread them out as a tent to dwell in, the earth is spherical, that is a fact that was written many, many, many, many, many years before Galileo, Isaiah wrote down that the earth is round, Luke chapter 17, look at that one, no go to Job 25, Job 25, I've got some extra references in my notes that we didn't put in yours just because we have a limited amount of time, Job 25 and verse number 5, Job 25 verse 5, the Bible says behold even to the moon and it shineth not, yea the stars are not pure in his sight, so the moon does not shine, now in the sky at night it looks like it shines, especially on a clear night with a full moon, the moon is bright, you almost don't need a flashlight on a night like that to go out at night time and see because the moon is shining brightly except it's not, we understand now that the moon simply reflects the light of the sun, it does not shine at all of itself, which is a type of picture of the Christian, let your light so shine, well Jesus is the light of the world, he's in us, we're to reflect his light like the moon reflects the light of the sun, but here's a scientific fact, in the oldest book of the Bible, the moon does not shine, it reflects sunlight, look at first chronicles chapter 1, first chronicles chapter 1, verse 19, there's even science tucked into the genealogies, how many of you get real excited when you're reading your Bible and you come to first chronicles chapter number 1, here's my chance to learn how to pronounce all these weird names, first chronicles chapter 1 verse 19, and unto Eber were born two sons, name of them was Peleg, it's a weird name, I wonder if he tried to pronounce that differently because in his days the earth, I wonder if he had a dog, anyway because in his days the earth was divided and his brother's name, now come on wouldn't you be bitter if your name was Peleg and your brother had a cool name like Joktan, his brother's name was Joktan, but what happened in the days of Peleg, let's call him Peleg because in his days the earth was divided, continental drift theory, remember learn about that in science class, Pangea, the earth is all one land mass and then it splits apart and it moves apart and we have continents, listen the Bible wrote about that in the book of first chronicles, these events are 4000 BC or a little bit sooner and God gave the writer of first chronicles this scientific understanding of continental drift, look at Ecclesiastes chapter 1.
"isaiah" Discussed on Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life
"Don't forget Sarah Smith of golder's green. In the great divorce by C. S. Lewis, it's just a novel. But it tells us about a lady named Sarah Smith, who in real life was very ugly, kind of unhappy. I mean, interesting, lovely to look at. But when she gets to heaven and the great divorce, here's what it says about her. It says the beauty of the woman's soul was so filled with the beauty of holiness that she was unbearably beautiful. Few men, even on earth, says the narrator looked on her without becoming in a certain fashion, her lovers, but it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but more true to their own wives. I don't even remember if she were wearing clothes for the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy produced in my mind a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. Now, why am I reading that? When I read that, I get a glimpse of what it means to be holy and it's beautiful. And if you find your heart going out to that, like the serifs do. I can't even look at it. And yet I can't not look at it. You know that you've been touched by the grace of God. And that you're finally commuting with the real God. One last thing. And somebody's going to say, hey, I wrote these down. What do you mean last thing? I said reality diversity, beauty, humility. I got to skip it, sorry. We've started to talk about it. The festivity. At the very end, you've got this amazing thing. It's as then I heard the voice of the lord saying, whom shall I send? And who will go for us and I said, here am I
"isaiah" Discussed on Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life
"They would say, well, if a key young leader like you, I mean, if a young man like you would go into the ministry boy, that would be something. You know, you might really be able to turn this more than church around. I mean, people would know that you're somebody and you could really do good. Well, if one of your type come in and see, Isaiah Shirley was prone to that. And as a result, when God shows up, God is as high as I can be. And Isaiah gets a nosebleed just looking at him. And there is no, there's no sweetness and light, and I'll be near you and don't be afraid, and don't worry, and I've known you from the beginning. Absolutely not. I saw the lord. High and lifted up. See, and it's train filled the temple. Nothing like that at all. I say I got what he needed. And so did Jeremiah. Now listen carefully. It doesn't mean that there isn't something that they all have in common. And if you look very carefully, you will see that Isaiah was lifted up so that Isaiah saw a God lifted up and made him feel like nothing so that God could come and show him his mercy. I say I didn't think he needed any mercy. So how could he experience it? So he had to be humbled into the ground before he could see the mercy. On the other hand, Jeremiah is very much the opposite. Jeremiah had to be brought into a relationship with God and experiences mercy. Before he really was able to see, in some ways, the sinfulness of sin, because, you know, until you really know God as a friend, do you really see how wicked your sin is? See, mercy, to give you a quick example. This is an old illustration. I haven't used it in a long time, but it's so good. One minute I heard a minister say this many, many years ago. He said, he said, listen, if I was at your house, and you weren't in a bill came due, and I paid it. And then I called you up and said, guess what? A bill came due. And you were supposed to pay it, but I paid it, what do you think of that? And the answer is you wouldn't know what to think, because until you know the size of the bill, you don't know how grateful to be. Is that right? Sure. Now, if it's a dollar postage, do want to package. The postage do and you paid it. You'd say, oh, je thanks. That's all. But on the other hand, if it was the IRS man, who said, you owe $40,000 in back taxes, otherwise we're putting a lien on your property tomorrow.
"isaiah" Discussed on Timothy Keller Sermons Podcast by Gospel in Life
"Now, this won't be a long point, I don't think. And this might be kind of basic. But one of my, one of my old pastors, one of my old mentors who's who died this year was Jack Miller. And Jack Miller has a great little talk on Isaiah 6. And he says, the reason that Isaiah, one of the reasons I say was so absolutely astounded, one of the reasons that I say was so absolutely knocked to the ground by this is that like most any other israelite. In fact, like almost any religious person, he was going to the temple. Like he'd gone to the temple, dozens and dozens and hundreds of times in his life. It was the Sabbath day. He was going up to the temple. And so I walked into the temple. And like almost anybody who goes to the temple, anybody who goes to church, anybody who goes to anybody who goes, you know, like anybody else, he walked in and the very last person in the whole world he expected actually see was God. See, he saw, I mean, he'd always experienced he'd always felt the presence of God. He'd always been inspired very often. But one day he came in and he saw now the Bible continually tells us that Christianity is not simply about rules and regulations and beliefs, it's about tasting and that the lord is good. Seeing God, knowing God, does not knowing about him. And the little word saw means Isaiah moved from knowing about God to knowing God this day. Isaiah moved from saying his prayers to praying. Isaiah moves from being a nominal believer to being a real believer. He saw God. It shocked him. Now, what does this mean? Just this. And actually, if any of you, we know that a certain percentage of you come back in the evening and you were in the morning, so some of you came to the morning service.
"isaiah" Discussed on Greg Bedard Patriots Podcast with Nick Cattles
"Defensive rebounding, they have to keep Looney and Wiggins off of the offensive glass. That'll be huge and also both of these teams turn the basketball over a ton. And the Celtics, you know, you can look at the numbers. They lose when they turn the ball over 16 or more times. It's pretty much a guarantee. Especially against this warriors kind of running gun offense and how quickly they can put points up. Defensive rebounding and turnovers are going to be gigantic. Just wanted to get that out there. That to be as Jay, if you're a patch junkie, if you're listening to this podcast, of course you are. Membership at BSA gives you access to a ton of video analysis that Greg does on the coaches film and direct access to him in weekly chats. Greg, the member question of the day, I know you kind of tease this. It's about the 53. What is the question? Who is it from? And what is your answer, sir? So it's a straw man question. Venting myself. But, you know, just I've done this the past couple of weeks. I forget what I wrote about on Sunday because we talk on Wednesday, and I'm like, oh, we should have talked about that. So in case anyone's listening, I have my first 53 man roster projection. Obviously way too early and injuries are going to be part of the deal. But if you want to go over to BSK, you can see the whole thing. A couple of things that will probably jump out that I just wanted to explain a little bit, I have Damien Harris being traded. Yeah, and look, as opposed to say, chase winovich, I don't want to trade Damien Harris and I would rather not. And running back to one of those positions where you get a lot of injuries. So anything can happen. So I think that in.
"isaiah" Discussed on Greg Bedard Patriots Podcast with Nick Cattles
"It doesn't seem like they were. And so now an offensive line that we already had questions to begin with, now you look at it and say, well, even more questions. You know, does Trent Brown slide the left tackle? Does he, you know, do you move harran's left tackle? Now you have to maybe hope and cross your fingers that stupor can be some kind of depth piece almost right away versus developing him over the next year. You've got to hope that maybe Heinz is ready to kind of step in if you need him. So it puts the pressure on every other offensive lineman. David Andrews is not out there right now. You know, he's missed some of the OTAs. If not all of them. So, you know, there are questions about this O line and we had him before the draft and I think we have even more of them right now, which is not where you want to be with this football team. And of course, you look back, Greg, at that 2018 draft, you had two first round picks. And right now that draft doesn't look so good. No. You could have already traded Sony Michelle could very well trade Isaiah win and Sony Michelle certainly a good you would say that this both about both of them. Good solid players. First round picks? No, probably not. I mean, they could have had, we've talked about it for could have had Darius Leonard could have had Nick Chubb could have had DJ Moore. Can you just imagine this team with Darius Leonard at linebacker out of that draft? Nick Chubb, you know, could have been your feature running back if you wanted that Mark Andrews, the tight end in Baltimore and went in the third round in that draft. You know, it just reminds me it reminds me a lot of the 2015 brewing giraffe where they had those three first round picks and it's sort of like, you know, you get those multiple first round picks, your banking on, this has got to be the baseline, the base of our future for this team. And both teams just were not effective enough with those picks. And they're both paying the price.
"isaiah" Discussed on Greg Bedard Patriots Podcast with Nick Cattles
"Yesterday, on Tuesday, I think there's an issue here. And I think in my mind, and we sort of touched on it last week. But what people have to remember is, in April of May, a year ago, okay? So what happens with these first round picks is the teams have to make a decision on the guaranteed 5th year option a year out. Yep. So in May, about a year ago, before OTA started before anything started in the off season last year, the Patriots had to make a decision on Isaiah wins 2022 contract. Okay? And so at the time, the Patriots didn't know any different. They were like, okay, well, you know, Isaiah wins had some injury issues, but we think that's unlucky. We think he's a good player. And at $10 million for a 5th year for a left tackle, that's sort of middle of the road. About fits with his play he's been about middle of the road left tackle when he's been out there. So we're going to pick up the option. But really what that does is it puts the teams in an unfair position too bad because they have the advantage along almost everything on the contract front, but this is one of the few times they're at a disadvantage. So they make the decision last year in Isaiah win and they're basically now held hostage for two years. Okay? Because you've already guaranteed his contract for 2022. Yeah, you could trade him or something like that. That's always possible. But put yourself in the Patriots position. You're like, okay, they pick up his option. So he's the left tackle that year. All right, he misses some stuff. Okay, well fine, you know, we haven't seen this out of him before. We're sure he's going to be okay. He's going to report, you know, in shape, things like that. He'll have a good year this year. All of a sudden, Isaiah win after having his 5th year option picked up, doesn't show up to much last year at all. And then he comes back, he comes to training camp. He's out of shape. They're not real happy for with him. First half of the year, he was not good. And all of a sudden, now they're unhappy with him. He finishes better at the end of the season, but they're already on the hook. They can't get rid of them. They're already on the hook for 2022. And you figure, oh, well, is a win is going to learn from 2021. Now we're back in the same place. So now the Patriots at least half options, but the only option they can't cut them because they're on the hook for the 10 million. If they trade him, they get the 10 million back in cap space, which they need because they're up against it right now. But I think that in my mind, if Trump Brown looked okay at left tackle, if he gives you average play, which is what.
"isaiah" Discussed on Greg Bedard Patriots Podcast with Nick Cattles
"He did. You know, he said, no, I don't need the water celebration and Tatum said F that, and they still did it anyway. But I did like ema's message and he said, you know, we don't hang banners in Boston for Eastern Conference championships. And he told them, we've got to be able to look, enjoy this for a couple of hours, but we got to get back on that plane. We're flying across the country in the next couple of days. We've got to quickly adjust and realize that this is the NBA Finals, and we have a chance to do something special. One last note I would say, it's going to be compelling to watch how much does Jordan pool play for Golden State. He's been fantastic offensively offensively for them. For the last couple of months, he is a black hole defensively. And with brown and Tatum, I do wonder, you know, defensively, the warriors, they'll do some switching and they'll play some zone, get ready for a good amount of zone. They played zone against Dallas late in that series. I think they'll throw a good amount of zone at the Celtics offense to challenge them. But if they continuously attack Jordan Poole, you have pool and encourage been a little bit better defensively, but he still has those size limitations against bigger physical athletes. It's a tough assignment Klay Thompson is not the same guy he was three or four years ago. He still pretty damn good, but he has the wear and Terry's not the same guy. So, you know, they have this PTSD lineup as they call it for Golden State, which is what is it pool Thompson, Steph, and draymond, the PTSD lineup. You know, if you're going to play that, the Celtics have some advantages. So the warriors have to figure that out defensively. Again, I think it's going to be, it should be a very good series. Let's get into the Patriots now. Hopefully you enjoyed the Celtics. We say minute, but it was actually probably about ten minutes. Hopefully you all enjoyed that. Let's jump into the Patriots. They got together on Tuesday yesterday, the media was there. From what I read and from what I've heard, Greg, not a ton happening yesterday. What'd you see? No, it was, to me, it was by far the most, you know, in terms of what I need to do, the most unproductive patriots practice, I think I've.
"isaiah" Discussed on Greg Bedard Patriots Podcast with Nick Cattles
"I hope so. That's the first thing. The second thing I would say is, you know, Golden State, what's fascinating about this matchup is neither team has really faced a team like they're going to face in the finals during this run. The Celtics have not faced a warrior's offense at his constant ball movement in man movement and never stops. They're 100 mph, 48 minutes. And the Celtics are going to have to defend that consistently and make sure that they've got their heads on a swivel for back cuts and all that kind of stuff. But the warriors have not faced the Celtics team. The Celtics are much more physical. They're bigger. They're more athletic. When you look at the maverick series, I watched every game of that series, you know, maxi kleber down low for Dallas. He's not a rim protector. He's not a big guy. You know, when you look at a Horford or a Robert Williams, even a Daniel tice, who might play some minutes in this series, you know, when you look at what the warriors have done and who they've done it against, they have not been able to, you know, go against that kind of physicality for 48 minutes night and a night out. And that's what the Celtics have done. I mean, the one thing you can say about this run for the season, the postseason is just the physicality of it. You know, even against the nets a little less, but you know, there was some physicality early on, but it kind of waned after game two Kyrie checked out. That series was over, you know, for all intents and purposes. But these back to back 7 game series, Milwaukee, and then you had to go against that Miami team. Those are two teams that will punch you in the mouth. And they will make you earn it. And the fact that the seas won both of those series in a game 7, you know, when you look at how they did it, they went to Milwaukee, win game 6, then when game 7 and dominating fashion, then they have that awful game 6 against the heat. They've got to go down to Miami for game 7 and they really until the final couple minutes dominated that game. They did not, you know, they did not trail once in that basketball game on Sunday. So I think there's a lot of interesting facets to this series for, you know, a basketball hardcore kind of guy like me. And I think it should go 6 or 7. And it should be tightly contested. The one final thing I'll say before we jump into the Patriots, Greg, that concerns me about this series..
"isaiah" Discussed on Greg Bedard Patriots Podcast with Nick Cattles
"The Patriots, a little Celtics minute here, your thoughts on them, advancing to the NBA Finals, which we'll start tomorrow night about 90 minutes down the road from me in San Francisco, warriors, Celtics. What are you thinking? Well, I mean, first of all, you know, tremendous run by the Celtics to this point. I mean, just an amazing season to go from where they were like, you know, 23 and 24, whatever they were, they were just floundering, didn't know whether this current mix of players could work and everybody can blur after the fact. But I mean, those were legitimate concerns to bring up at the time. I mean, look at it now. This team has caught fire for half the year, is now in the NBA Finals is in many corners favored to win the NBA championship. And this team was under 500. Obviously there was something wrong with this team at this point. And I give a lot of credit, you know, as everybody knows from listening to this podcast, I'm sort of a coaching coaching guru, so to speak in terms of I love to watch coaches work and what they do and I mean you've coached myself high school coach and it's always been something that's been something I love to observe as coaches, how they go about their business, how they get the most out of their teams. And the job that MAU DOCA has done this year has been unbelievable. I mean, he basically took the baton where Brad Stevens couldn't get any further. Yes, the team had to take a couple of steps back, which often happens with new coaches. But I think that his, he reminds me of Bruce Cassidy in a lot of ways where and also Belichick, I would say. And Cora, I would say all of our coaches now in Boston, they all, they all are tough on the players. They'll call them out. They'll hold them accountable. You know, sometimes just behind closed doors, which is fine. Sometimes, you know, out in public. But I think that that accountability in coming from a guy like MA with his background, his playing background. I think there's been a huge difference this year. So as far as the Celtics chances in the finals, look, I'll leave that up to you guys who watch a lot more NBA basketball. I don't know if I've watched the warriors very much this year outside of maybe a little bit against the Celtics in the regular season. All I know is this. The patriots, the Celtics in the three teams that they face so far, those teams couldn't shoot a lick. I know the warriors could shoot. So, you know, to me, it feels like it's gonna be a tough tour for them, having to go on the road, even though they've been a great road team..
"isaiah" Discussed on Bob Ryan & Jeff Goodman NBA Podcast
"If I get paid more money every time I see that, or say that, I'm going to be in business. So in regard to the issue with LeBron James on the floor, adult actress, pornographic star, Kendra lost bob Ryan. Do you know who Kendra lush is bob Ryan? No, I do not. He would not admit it. Maybe maybe Goodman does. Kendra lust has said that Isaiah Stewart is a fake tough guy. No, she said that Anthony Davis is a fake tough guy. So she is one of the most popular adult film actresses in the world. She has 7.2 million followers on Instagram and she says that Anthony Davis should have got involved. She says that Anthony Davis is soft. How do you feel about Kendra lust by? I guess she's entitled to her opinion as well. So I can tell you. I don't have any. I have no opinion about her. I'm sorry. I don't know anything about her. I just wanted to get a porn actress. This is pod. I'm sure you did, but I can't Jeff Goodman's dying right now. Bob, you're fine. We're taking you off the hook. I am because I think maybe ten ways worked with her before bob. I don't know. I don't know what she is either, but she may be honest something. She might pay the bills. Well, listen, Anthony Davis is not the toughest student in the world. Isaiah probably would have broken him in a house. And it's probably would have been out for the year. If he had gotten involved in the scalpel. So let's be honest. This is the right move for Anthony Davis. Anytime something breaks out, this is a guy who can get hurt anywhere anyplace in any way. Run the other way. Go ahead, get the hell out of there. And let Dwight Howard get in there and mix it up. Let him have some value for this team. But my guess is the white Howard probably ran in the tunnel on this when this whole thing was going on. Yeah, she said, something like Anthony Davis didn't want any of that smoke or something along those lines. Anyways, hey, look, 7.2 million followers on Instagram. Well, that's a few more that could not have any followers. I got to tell you that speaking of not wanting to get involved in a fracas story, I was sitting on the bench and my junior year at the lines for school. We're playing board in town military institute..
"isaiah" Discussed on Bob Ryan & Jeff Goodman NBA Podcast
"Not just football, better line is promo college troops and HL box and UFC. Favorite Vegas casino games? I want to see bob Ryan in Vegas. That's what I want. Really? That's a reality show. But a lot is the fastest and easiest way to bet on all your favorite sports that align with stuffed with deals of Thanksgiving. Thank you better in line for making this show possible. All right, guys, to me, the big story is, you know, LeBron James. Okay, we saw the video. We saw the incident Isaiah Stewart gets two games, which I can't believe that's all they got. That's beyond me. And LeBron James. Bob, I want to start with you about the altercation, you know, LeBron elbows the guy, didn't look attention. LeBron turned around and said, my bad, but Stuart goes crazy. And all your years of covering this league, how bad was this? Well, let's start with the incident. I mean, let's talk about the background. My first question was what was there something leading up to this? Was there a reason why LeBron James went out of character? He is not known for anything like this ever. Did I know of, okay? Right. He's not known for this. So was there something that started done earlier? And he said, all right, I had enough kid. I'm going to show you who's boss. Don't mess around with the king. Or something. I don't know. Okay, no, but look so that's a B and LeBron. It's nothing that LeBron is known for. Okay. He did it, though. And then it appears and certainly that's what his teammates think and I know in the Davis we saw the soundbite from him afterward said the bond immediately want to say, I'm sorry, okay, let's go. If that's the case, now everything is on Stewart. Yes, he's bleeding. Yes, this was I'm going to pick my words carefully. I've been covering this league directly for 52 years. Since 1969. I have never seen him terrifying person at the moment on the floor. Even including people who have thrown actual punches, you know, which you never got to do. You know, but that was a frightening, terrifying individual a large, powerful young man. Listed at two 50. God knows what he weighs who had a look of just frenzy. They couldn't subdue him. He wouldn't let it go. Wouldn't let it go. What triggered that? That's what I want to know. I don't know. Jeff, I watched him and I liked him in college and by the way, I thought he was and I have no idea he kind of reputation of any kind, Jeff, you would. Bob, I will tell you, he is the nicest kid the most soft spoken kid you will ever meet. He's 20 years old. I've spent an hour with him two years ago at Washington and I could not have been more impressed with Isaiah Stewart as a human being high character. Any anybody you talk to about Isaiah Stewart? Those are the first words that will come to their mouth. This high character, sweet, innocent, almost too nice off the court, but when he gets on the court. He is a man. Like he plays with a motor. That's what's got him into the league. That's what's gonna keep him in the league. His motor and listen, I don't know what it was exactly either, I don't know if it was one of the blood started flowing and he felt it that all of a sudden he lost it. But he lost it..
"isaiah" Discussed on Magnify Him Together
"So shall we ever be with the lord excellent so do beget that idea of do those clouds. That's right it's not just in the clouds is in. Ooh we're going going into this guy. It's actually a connection. I believe to the do of isaya twenty six that they are gathered together just like those individual dot droplets when jesus returns the power of the son of god to raise the dead and they are gathered together individual do drops it together make clouds now. That's a beautiful picture that these clouds of individuals are gathered together to meet the lord and from there. We know it will happen but will ever be with the lord. It's a little reminder when we do the ground that we can think about when the sun rises all of those that sleep in christ will be raised and those that are alive in christ will be gathered together as a cloud of individuals now if we continue the theme of collapse woods. Where else do we get a cloud of individuals in the bible. How would i read you. A bit of a quote wherefore seeing we also are past about with so great clouds of wetness says that's hebrews chapter twelve and that's just after talking about hebrews eleven which is the the faith chapter and he is eleven. We have all these examples of faithful individuals and what they did by their faith and then in chapter twelve the author of hebrews says you know what we have been surrounded. Look around all of these amazing examples. But he says a great cloud of witnesses because these are people that are waiting the resurrection from the dead and he says they are a cloud and they will be a cloud. So it's an exciting picture that all of those faithful that live by faith can look forward to being joined together with the faithful of all ages as they are raised from the dead at the return of christ to be a cloud of witnesses. So maybe as a lesson for this week is to go outside in the morning and walk through the wet grass. And when you do to think. About god's promise that as surely as the sun rises that one day the sun of righteousness and the son of god will return to bring healing in his beams healing of sorrow and pain the resurrection of the dead and the promise of healing to this earth that it so desperately needs thank you for listening to the magnifying together. Kids daily reading podcast. We hope you enjoyed this brief. Look at the prophecy of isaiah. And we hope you will join us next week if our lord remains away as we'll continue interstates together..
"isaiah" Discussed on Magnify Him Together
"Were a day late on our gas. We had a study we can and so now. We're turning to the prophecies of isaiah and chapter six teen so in this section starting chapter thirteen on. We have some judgements that god is pronounced on the nations and in the midst of these judgments on the nations around israel. We sometimes have future prophecies in fact we have one of those in eye chapter sixteen in verses one to five. So let's take a look at that and as we do let's listen for echos in the echoes. Were listening for is symbols and language that tell us. We're talking about the return of jesus christ so how about you. Eat the first three verses and i'll read the last two sandy. The lamb to the ruler of land from seila to the wilderness unto the mount of the daughter of zion for the as wondering bird cast out of the nest so the daughters of moab shelby. At the fords of arnon take counsel. Execute judgment may shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday high. The outcast betray not him that wander through it again. Let my outcast. What would the moab be would covert to them. From the face of the spoiler for the extortion. Er- is an end the spoiler sith the oppressors are consumed land and in mercy shall the throne be established and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle david judging and seeking judgment and hastening righteousness ziya. What would the hints that showed you that. This could be talking about the future. Well it's talking about a lamb in verse. One rep princes jesus and then in verse four moab covert well moab is always been an enemy of israel but now they're gonna shelter israel. What are they gonna show through them. From from the spoiler from a spoiler and extortionist in fact two excellent any other hints have overs five. Oh that's that's definitely big hint. It's after this lambs thrown will be established right so we have the throne being established at the end of verse. Five who sits on it will land the land he will sit upon it. In truth in the tabernacle of david judging and seeking judgment and hastings so clearly this is as you said language of the return of jesus christ the lamb the lamb that is prophesied in revelation. In fact this language for example of an extortion. Her and a spoiler Is language of ezekiel thirty. Eight and thirty nine wherever we're going from the north comes down and the nations of Tarshish say have you come to take a spoilt as right so you get this picture of an enemy coming down and at that time as you pointed out when enemy comes down some of israel is going to flee and and what is being asked from god on moab ammon aminata. Their return of christ is that they hide the outcasts. Now when will they be outcasts fleeing from the extortion when russia comes and takes his ralph. Exactly right exactly so. We have this picture in fact you get this really neat pitcher. What's going to happen. That the northern hosts comes down and eventually to egypt and comes back and attacks israel in zachariah tells us he's going to set himself up in jerusalem are by jews and he's going to take jerusalem captive but some of the jews will escape and these are the ones that crossed jordan and who the modern day more of an amazon are going to be asked to take care of him protect so that they're not all destroyed by go so israel in the land is going to be protected until the extortion is at an end in verse. For the spoiler ceases the oppressors are consumed out of the land and in mercy show the throne be established. That's a beautiful picture. So you know. More of an ammon were white doubt as a nation a long time ago and so there are no descendants of moment ammon but there are occupants. Today there are occupants today of the land of moment amazon and that's the nation of jordan. And what's really interesting. The nation of jordan today. The unlike more in times past jordan is very friendly to israel. For example the king of jordan king abdullah his wife is british. He even served in the british military. I found this study really exciting. When i did the first time. Because it a little glimpse forward that reminds us of what to watch for when jesus christ will be returning and this promise that jesus will return to deliver israel and that we would expect the nation of an amazon or current lee. Today the nation of jordan to at the time of uses return protect. the. Israelites are the israeli people. From this northern invader the end result of all of this is something the world desperately needs in needs a righteous king that can bring peace to this world and so i love her five that he will establish a thrown in mercy and he will sit upon it in truth mercy and truth and he will judge and seek judgment and haste or quickly bring righteousness so maybe for this week as we look at the turmoil that the world is today and the terminal that exists in the land of israel. We can look forward to the time when the lamb will return to zion to bring peace and righteousness to deliver israel to deliver us and to bring truth and mercy to this world. Thanks very much for listening to the magnifying together. Kids daily reading podcast. We hope you've enjoyed this brief. Look at isaiah and we hope you'll join us next week as we look at another chapter in this amazing prophecy.
"isaiah" Discussed on MTR Podcasts
"And then when you get when i get to that space of a damn artists and i'll just say to myself and am i too old to to try to get out there and start despite says my mid twenties and i will look at the careers of not even people that are like similar but just careers of people that we know like harrison. Ford i remember looking at the thing and it's like he got started his late thirties. Lake right like star wars. He was in his mid to late. Thirty it was like a fluke like he wasn't even going for it. So i think we put this weird kind of go go go now if you're not a ten year old prodigy and whatever your creative practices then you're dinosaur And we need to kind of get away from that. I think because there are people who do things just at any time and some people create their best work. Maybe later life maybe sixty seventy s like. Here's really dope that create. It's like oh you did really So for for your for you. Create a practice. Withdraws you to a project. That's that's a great question. I saw my undergrad was in sociology. I graduated from salisbury university over on the eastern shore. So ben in maryland for bit grade school and college but for me. I'm a big research. Nerd get caught up in all these weird socio you know. Sociologically based topics like education or religion and architecture and red lining. So i usually start a concept. Or i'll i'll start to observe something so just pay attention and for me in baltimore. It was really like. I was saying that i wasn't really seeing positive. Beautiful images of the city you know of just everyday life. There are a lot of things going on there. Were some artists making some beautiful incredible work. But i think for baltimore for for that type of photography really saw that more in. Dc new york philly like it wasn't popping off the same way here So for me it was more of a conversation of why is that. There's obviously beautiful things here in the city and then looking into the history so then i kind of ended up down this rabbit hole of looking at the differences between east baltimore west ball over the last couple of decades and the rise and fall. And then you got things like white flight and baltimore county in the breakdown..
"isaiah" Discussed on MTR Podcasts
"Because i don't shoot a lot of event photography now But all of the the basis in a lot of the things that i learned That set me up to move more into my fine art in editorial practice. Was you know those those events in those those small gigs in just learning to reputation in in practice. So yeah the city's been incredibly beneficial to me. I just i can't even explain it. I don't i don't know what an isaiah winters artistic practice of retirement practice looks like without baltimore like i. That's an interesting question. Okay so you touched on the air force. Let's let's about that a little bit that that career shift. How is that like it was. It was tough so i was. I was a linguist. I was there until twenty seventeen as soon as my time. I finish serving so a lot of people are confused about this once. If you don't go the full twenty years in the military and retire you separate. So i had a six year contract. I finished my six years. After undergrad. And then i separated so i did about six. Nah i'd say about four or five months. I traveled cross country packed. everything up. Hit a bunch of national parks. I was in northern california. A california oregon washington just traveling around and really just trying to reconnect with what it means to be a civilian because you know military side. It's a whole different set of rules and regulations and everything. So i had to kind of you know. Let let go of that a little bit and then for me. It was more about figuring out of. What do i need to do to make this a full-time transition. So i'd say mid twenty seventeen until around twenty nineteen. I was actually working for yelp. I was working as a community manager here in baltimore and that was the kind of wide took that position because it allowed me to champion small businesses and local businesses and creatives kind of doing cool things in the city and find ways to work that into you know this big corporate entity that is yelp but they have a very specific community department. That was just focused on that..
"isaiah" Discussed on Magnify Him Together
"I'm uncle paul. And i'm here with isaiah. Hello everybody so today is zayat. We are looking at the book of isaiah. Isaiah the prophet. In fact the very person that you were named after and we've chosen is six. Because as i six is the very passage. That is the reason we chose the name that we did so. Let's look at isaiah chapter six in versus one to eight and as we read. Listen for an echo to another time when a similar scene occurs all right. So let's read is is to him will do to versus each jonas. Start in the year. That king died. I saw also the lord sitting upon us thrown high and lifted up and is trained filled. The temple above it stood the seraphim 's each one had six wings the twain. He covered his face with twain. He covered his feet and with twain. He did fly in one cried into another and said holy. Holy holy is your way of hosts the whole earth is full of his glory and the post. The door moved at the voice of him. That cried and the house was filled with smoke. Then said i. Whoa is me for i am undone because i am a man of unclean lips and i while in the midst of a people of unclean lips for mine eyes have seen the king y'all way of host then flew one of the seraphim unto me having a live call in his hand which she had taken with tongs from off the altar Laid it upon my mouth and said lo this has touched lips. Nine iniquities taken away and i sin purged. Also i heard the voice of the lord. Saying whom shall i send and who will go for us. Ben said i here am i. Send me all right. Did you notice any eh close to another section of scripture samuel samuel when he hears the voice of god says here my here my so the idea of somebody. That's ready for service. Do you have another time period. Where you have seraphim or caribbean revelation. Yeah you've got a picture in revelation. Don't you of the caribbean and living creatures fright and you have four beasts in four and twenty elders singing a song yet revelation four. We have the elders in the lightning's Thunders in the lamps in the throne lowered his temple Same picture in fact. You know that this vision that he sees that isaiah season chapter six is a vision of the future. Do you know how do you we can tell. This is a vision of the future. There's a phrase here that we know is kingdom language. The whole inverse three. The whole earth is full of his glory. That's right we know that. For many passages that the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the glory of god as the waters. Cover the sea in this vision. We have a picture of the time. When all this full of his glory when isaiah sees this amazing vision of the kingdom in sees all these perfect seraphim which are symbol of the perfected seines. What's his reaction. Woe is me for. I am an done because i'm a man of unclean lips. He's saying i'm not good enough. I can't do this. He sees perfection and when he sees perfection looks as himself. He says that's not me. I can't do this and sometimes we feel like that. Sometimes we don't want to do what we should but sometimes we feel like we're not good enough to do it and that realization. That were not good enough Results in response in verse seven. He's perch yeah. So he gets the the symbol of the seraphim taking a coal from off the altar and laying it to his mouth he touched his lips iniquity. He says you're iniquity is taken away in nice sin is purged. So he's saying you may not be good enough but you know what god can forgive. Sins in fact. There's a passage about that right. I can do all things through him. Through christ who strengthens me. That's right so you've got this idea that there's hope that even though we're not good enough we can have the hope of the forgiveness of sins in christ. Is there a connection with the altar in lake redemption. or like. Jesus right okay. So let's talk about kohl's off the altar. Do you know what the coles off the altar are used for for lighting incense from lighting the incense. So you have this idea of the coals and his lips resulting in purging or forgiveness is is kind of like making hand like the altar of incense. Yeah kind of kind of like from taking transfer instead of going into the altar of incense. It's that live code is going to his lips. That's right because what is incense what is intense a symbol of prayer. That's right in in psalm. One forty one in inverse to let my prayers rise before you as so you're right so the altar of burnt sacrifice which is a symbol of christ right complete dedication if we are in him and we followed his example of dying dissonant living to god than that work combined with our prayers. God will here. So yeah you're right. He is in a sense. The altar of incense because our prayers are the incense which when motivated by our understanding of our need to die Lifted god will at prayers can forgive our sins in christ in which case with that hope of what god can do in us and what god can accomplish what we can do all things through christ. Who strengthens me. When he says who will i send. What's the response here. My send me so maybe a lesson for us for today and for this week. A practical lesson when our parents ask us to do something that in honor of god in honoring our father and mother. There's a little reminder that with eagerness to have the attitude have here my send me and maybe even bigger than that in our life is a reminder that we aren't good enough but that if we follow the example of jesus christ and we tried to be like him then. We have the hope that we can do all things through christ who strengthens us. Thanks everyone for listening to the magnify him together. Kids daily reading podcast. We hope you enjoy looking at a prophecy of isaiah with us and we hope you will join us next week as we continue in our studies daily reading together..
"isaiah" Discussed on Understand the God Who Speaks
"Mine. Life have longed to preach the gospel and finally god as let me do it. As as saying oh god could use me. Thinking himself utterly dissolved and now finding himself clean. What else can he do. But cry out. God could you use me. what about me. God you find that in your heart. Maybe you haven't had enough. Grace now most sermons that i've ever heard Six stop right. Here herrmann i lord send me. Send me to build a mega church. Send me to be the next. Billy graham sent me god says isaiah. I have a message for you but after tell you. It will harden the hearts of this generation. If you speak the truth no lord.